The European Commission has proposed a set of measures to reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. While such proposals are welcome, simply listing a limited number of plastic items found on the shore and prohibiting them would prove ineffective and insufficient to solve the actual problems, CoR rapporteur Hertell believes. The rapporteur urges the European Commission to ensure that this proposal is coherent with the Circular Economy Package, especially the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste, in order to send a clear and unambiguous signal to businesses and consumers.

The opinion calls for a wider approach that considers ecosystems as a whole and focuses on preventing disposable non-degradable plastic waste entering the economy. The EC should publish a comprehensive impact assessment clearly outlining the social, economic and environmental implications of the proposed measures.

Product design, innovation, support to more sustainable substitutes for plastic, new technologies and routes for plastic recycling as well as better controls to prevent waste-dumping in the seas are some of the measures discussed in this CoR opinion.

Adoption timetable:

  • Stakeholder consultation 5 September 2018
  • Final adoption in Plenary session of October 2018

"Soon we will have more plastic than fish in the seas. We cannot let the forecasted tripling in the use of single-use plastics happen. With political determination and innovation, we can turn this challenge into an opportunity to move towards a circular economy based on sustainable materials and producing better modular goods for consumers."

Sirpa Pietikäinen

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