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All plastic should be recyclable and recycled in the near future, say S&Ds


16 Jan 2018


Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

Strasbourg, 16 January 2018

Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today welcomed the Commission’s strategy to reduce plastic waste. In line with S&D efforts to promote a transition to a circular economy - where all products are designed to be either recycled, re-used or remanufactured-they will push for an even more ambitious proposal when the strategy is debated in the European Parliament.

Kathleen Van Brempt, S&D vice-president for sustainability, said:

“The European Union will be the first in the world to adopt a strategy to put an end to plastic litter, both on land and sea. Therefore, we are very glad to see that the Commission is ready to take the lead in this journey of no return. This is a global challenge in which we will all need to do our part if we do not want to end up with more plastic than fish in our oceans.
“However ambition is not enough. We need new polices and measures to stimulate the demand for secondary plastics in order to ensure that recyclable plastics are actually recycled. Therefore, we want the Commission to look at the introduction of minimal recycled content standards for recycled plastics in new products coming on the European market. Without demand side measures, producers might still opt for the cheaper 'virgin materials' produced from cheap oil.”

S&D spokesperson for health and the environment, Miriam Dalli, said:
“When you just think that some 100,000 tons of micro-plastics are floating in the world´s oceans, it becomes abundantly clear that we must not waste any more precious time in taking action.

“We live in a time of major developments but we are failing to reduce our dependency on plastics. This dependency means that more than 300 million tonnes of plastics are produced worldwide, with millions of tonnes of waste ending up in the environment, and critically our oceans.

“Addressing plastic waste in a strategic way is therefore essential. Whilst acknowledging that plastic materials are one of the drivers of our economies, we must look at preventing the production of such huge quantities of waste in the first place, as well as decreasing their use and ensuring they are disposed responsibly.”

S&D MEP Simona Bonafè, who was the rapporteur of the Waste Package in the European Parliament, said:

“We fully endorse the Commission’s objective to make all plastic material reusable and recyclable by 2030. This is in line with the outcome of the agreement on the Waste Package and in particular with the Parliament’s demand to strengthen the essential requirement for packaging.

“Now the Commission has to make a serious commitment to extend eco-design to the resource efficiency requirements. We are also waiting for the Commission’s proposal on single use plastic.”


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