EU’s fight against plastic waste: What does it all mean?

The European Commission plans to reduce plastic waste with a new strategy that seeks to make every piece of plastic reusable or recyclable.

 EU's fight against plastic waste: What does it all mean?
The European Union plans to reduce plastic waste with a new strategy that focuses on turning each piece of plastic reusable or recyclable by 2030.

But what does the strategy entail?

With its new action plan, the EU seeks to reduce single-use plastics, restrict the use of plastic particles that damage the ocean’s environment, curb the use of plastic bags and ensure that all plastic packaging is recyclable or reusable by 2030.

The “first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics” will adopt a “use and reuse” method to curb the use of plastic, said a statement by the European Commission.

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European Commission – Press release

Plastic Waste: a European strategy to protect the planet, defend our citizens and empower our industries

Strasbourg, 16 January 2018

The first-ever Europe-wide strategy on plastics, adopted today, is a part of the transition towards a more circular economy.

It will protect the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation, turning a challenge into a positive agenda for the Future of Europe. There is a strong business case for transforming the way products are designed, produced, used, and recycled in the EU and by taking the lead in this transition, we will create new investment opportunities and jobs. Under the new plans, 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.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development, said: “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. With the EU Plastics Strategy we are also driving a new and more circular business model. We need to invest in innovative new technologies that keep our citizens and our environment safe whilst keeping our industry competitive.

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