Reducing plastic waste

Plastic is an important and valuable material and has a useful place in our society and economy. However, the way in which plastics are produced and used is both unaffordable and unsustainable for Europe and the world. Unfortunately, the collection of plastics for recycling remains low. This has significant drawbacks for our environment, climate, economy and potentially health. Finding solutions for these challenges is a key priority for the ECR Group.

The EU must find a way to make the production, sale and use of plastics, sustainable and responsible. We need to turn this public concern on plastic waste into a shared responsibility throughout the international community.

The ECR is the leading political Group for the Parliament’s report on Single use plastic, which puts forward essential policy proposals such as a design for circularity, a single market for recycled plastics, and way for prevention and innovation to revolutionise the way we use plastic.

The ECR Group has continuously campaigned on this issue and hopes that in doing so the European Commission will bring forward much needed proposals to start tackling this most severe problem once and for all.

The ECR Group make the following suggestions:

  • Ensure that all plastic packaging placed on the European market can be cost-effectively reused or recycled by 2030.
  • We need a genuine single market for secondary plastics. Therefore, quality standards and verification are required.
  • Although a voluntary approach is welcomed, mandatory rules for recycled content for specific plastic products may be needed.
  • Bio-based plastics offer the potential for partial feedstock differentiation and can thus decrease the EU’s resource dependency on third countries.
  • Further investment in R&D in this area will be key in spurring innovation.

Now must be the time to invest and innovate, and find a wide range of policies that work for both business and consumers, and crucially for the environment.

We can turn plastic wastelands into fields of gold and protect our oceans and our environment at the same time. Plastic is a valuable and important material, but we have to find a way to use it sustainably.

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