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New rules to cut single use plastics adopted by MEPs

24 October 2018

New rules to cut single use plastics adopted by MEPs

An ambitious plan to reduce the amount of single use plastics washing up on our beaches was adopted today in the European Parliament. ECR Flemish MEP Mark Demesmaeker, who followed the proposals for the Group, has welcomed the new measures which he believes will help turn the tide against the world's growing plastic waste problem.

An ambitious plan to reduce the amount of single use plastics washing up on our beaches was adopted today in the European Parliament. ECR Flemish MEP Mark Demesmaeker, who followed the proposals for the Group, has welcomed the new measures which he believes will help turn the tide against the world’s growing plastic waste problem.

MEPs voted to specifically address the 10 single-use plastics that are most often found washed up or still in the sea, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear. These items together account for 70% of all marine litter.

Under the rules, some single-use plastic products are to be banned from the market where alternatives are readily available and affordable. Where plastics do not have straight-forward alternatives, the draft laws aim to focus on limiting their use through Member States’ plans that target consumption, design and labelling requirements as well as clean-up obligations for producers.

Speaking after the vote, Demesmaeker said:

“Plastic is an important and valuable material, but the way we are using it is unsustainable. Far too often we use it only once even though the way it’s developed means it lasts forever. It’s time we end the days of disposable plastic and start finding alternatives or at the very least using it more sustainably.

“We can’t just focus on plastic waste – we have to focus on the entire value chain and support measures that help us transition to a circular economy. Moving forwards we need comprehensive strategy on all disposable products, regardless of the material.”

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