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Restrictions on single-use items will not solve the littering problem


13 Oct 2016


Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

PlasticsEurope’s reaction to ITRE Vote on EU Circular Economy package

Restrictions on single-use items will not solve the littering problem

Following today’s vote of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy on the Circular Economy legislative proposals, PlasticsEurope has expressed its concerns regarding the potential damage to the single market as Members States could restrict the use of certain packaging and products, while others allow them. At the same time, PlasticsEurope has emphasized that these measures will not solve the environmental problem of littering.

“Market restrictions on certain products at national level, would lead to a situation in which some countries restrict certain types of packaging, while others allow them. Both investments and innovation may be hindered because of the legal uncertainty which would be created for all packaging materials and consequently packaged goods”, said Karl-H. Foerster, Executive Director, PlasticsEurope.

With regards to measures to reduce marine litter, Mr Foerster expressed: “Restrictions on single-use products including plastic items will not solve the problem of marine litter. To prevent litter, proper waste management systems and raising consumer awareness are the key areas which will contribute to preventing any waste ending up in the environment”. 

PlasticsEurope acknowledges the need to develop the use of recycled materials, however, it should be kept in mind that using recycled materials in a product is not always technically feasible, environmentally beneficial and economically viable. “To introduce a minimum recycled content in a product one needs to take into account the technical challenges of producing such a product and specific EU legislation, particularly, on food contact materials” said Karl-H Foerster.   

PlasticsEurope welcomes the proposal to gradually phase-out landfilling. PlasticsEurope has been calling for a ban on the landfilling of recyclable and recoverable post-consumer waste.


Nuria Buezas Sierra

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