The Commission said Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, but less than 30 percent is collected for recycling.
The European Union unveiled plans Tuesday for all plastic packaging in Europe to be recyclable by 2030 and phase out single-use plastic like coffee cups to fight pollution.
The strategy announced by the European Commission, the EU-executive, follows China’s decision to ban imports of foreign waste products for recycling, including huge quantities from Europe.
“The commission aims to increase plastic recycling and for all plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030,” the executive body said.
The Commission said its proposals also aim to create business opportunities by transforming the way plastic products are designed, produced and recycled in Europe.
The EU currently exports half of its collected and sorted plastics, 85 percent of which goes to China.
Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said: “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.”
Map of the European Union showing the average plastic waste per inhabitant in 2015