Science

Say goodbye to plastic waste, says EU

Say goodbye to plastic waste, says EU

Under the plan proposed by the European Commission, ten single-use plastic items will be banned.

"Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem", EU vice president Frans Timmermans told the Independent.

The proposal, which is created to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, and in particular the marine environment, sets a number of different policy measures to tackle these problematic single-use products, from bans and reduction efforts, to labelling and extended producer responsibility schemes [2].

If it is approved, member states will need to make an active effort to reduce the number of single-use plastic food containers and cups available for sale in supermarkets.

Different measures will be applied to different products.

In addition, member states will be obligated to collect 90 percent of single-use plastic drinks bottles by 2025 and raise consumers awareness about the negative impact of littering and how to properly dispose of waste. Estimates by the Commission show that the net benefits of the proposal are obvious. By setting up re-use systems (such as deposit refund schemes), companies can ensure a stable supply of high quality material.




"Plastic product bans are not the solution and will not achieve the structural change needed to build the foundation for a sustainable and resource efficient economy", the industry group said in a statement. There are already affordable non-plastic alternatives to these products, meaning that they could be removed from the market, the Commission explained.

The proposed rules will also require manufacturers of plastic products to help cover the cost of waste management and clean-up.

Stakeholders from the plastics manufacturing trade and the fishing gear trade typically favored the European Fee's proposal and indicated that additional motion was needed, and even pressing.

There will be even detailed labelling of products such as wet wipes balloons and sanitary towels to educate citizens of the environmental impact they have when they are not disposed of correctly. Single-use plastic objects and fishing gear account for 70 percent of waste in the ocean, according to the EU.

The Commission's proposals will now go to the European Parliament and Council for adoption. EU Commission officials urged for institutions to "deliver tangible results" before EU elections in twelve month's time.


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