Environment

EC adopts Europe-wide strategy to fight plastic pollution

EC adopts Europe-wide strategy to fight plastic pollution

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Published

January 17, 2018

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Published:

January 17, 2018

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As a part of the transition towards a more circular economy, the European Commission (EC) adopted the first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics.

According to the statement of the EC, this strategy will protect the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation, turning a challenge into a positive agenda for the Future of Europe.

Under the new strategy, all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced and the intentional use of micro-plastics will be restricted.

The European Union is in charge to make recycling profitable for business, curb plastic waste, stop littering at sea, drive investment and innovation and spur change across the world.

The strategy is fully justified by the strong need for transforming the whole process of production – from design to recycling phase – in the EU. At the same time, the transition process itself will bring new investment opportunities and job openings.

If we don’t change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050.

The new plans envisage that all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced and the intentional use of microplastics will be restricted.

Under the new strategy, the European Union will make recycling profitable for business, curb plastic waste, stop littering at sea, drive investment and innovation and spur change across the world.

“If we don’t change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050. We must stop plastics getting into our water, our food, and even our bodies. The only long-term solution is to reduce plastic waste by recycling and reusing more. This is a challenge that citizens, industry and governments must tackle together”, first Vice-President of the EC and the European Commissioner responsible for sustainable development Frans Timmermans said.

Every year, Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, but less than 30% is collected for recycling. Across the world, plastics make up 85% of beach litter. And plastics are even reaching citizens’ lungs and dinner tables, with microplastics in air, water and food having an unknown impact on their health. Building on the Commission’s past work, the new EU-wide strategy on plastics will tackle the issue head on, the EC says in press release.

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