EPA says that it will no longer enforce ozone standards for e-bag and grocery bag sales as it seeks to reduce emissions from their manufacture.
The agency’s move comes as the U.S. faces a looming ozone crisis that is expected to cost the nation $4.3 billion in lost business by the end of this year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We are taking action to address the climate crisis and we will continue to enforce the ozone standards in all our operations,” an EPA spokeswoman said in a statement.
Ozone, also known as ozone-depleting chemicals, is a substance produced by the photosynthetic process of photosynthesis.
Ozone-deplete foods are found in nearly all foods, from fruit and vegetables to dairy and coffee.
It is created when sunlight hits the carbon dioxide-containing air inside the food, causing it to break down and release the CO2.
The EPA said the agency is working with retailers and manufacturers of e-bags and grocery shopping bags to develop a voluntary program that will take effect later this year.
“It’s about time,” said Bob Lissner, vice president of consumer products at the National Retail Federation, a trade group for retail trade groups.
“We need to do a better job at making sure our food and our environment are safe.
We need to be doing it more, but we don’t need to go all out.”
The EPA has been using an emissions trading scheme called ETS since 2008 to reduce pollution from the manufacturing and packaging of the e-packets and grocery products.
The agency said that the plan will cut CO2 emissions by about 4 percent by 2025.
The program is designed to allow retailers to buy more products without breaking the law by cutting down on production and sales of e in the U, Mexico and other countries that do not have the same emissions rules as the United States.
“The EPA is committed to eliminating pollution from e-waste and the products that come from it and we’ll continue to use ETS to do that,” EPA spokesman Chris Daughtry said in an email.
“The U.K.’s government is also implementing the ETS and other voluntary measures, and we are committed to working with all countries to ensure the most effective way to meet our emissions goals.”
The agency has set an October deadline for manufacturers to comply with the voluntary emissions standards.
The EPA says the deadline will be extended by a year, so the agency will likely start enforcing the rules again in December.
The move comes a week after the agency released new rules to cut emissions from all sources of packaging, including e-commerce sites and e-mail, by 2021.
The rules, which were released in September, called for manufacturers of grocery bags and eartips to meet the ozone-reducing standards by December 2021.