March 6th, 2018
Europe’s Environment Ministers agreed on the latest EU plastic strategy at the environment council meeting held yesterday.
The EU strategy for plastics in a circular economy was introduced by the European Commission in January.
The strategy aims to ensure that all plastics are recyclable by 2030 and to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated.
At the meeting, the ministers highlighted the need to move forward with the plastics strategy and called for urgent implementation of legislation to tackle plastic waste.
They also suggested several actions that can be done to reduce plastic waste, including more awareness campaigns, increasing the quality of recycled products through new standards.
Neno Dimov, the Bulgarian Minister for Environment and Water, who chaired the Council meeting, said: “We need to protect our environment from plastic pollution. We also need to protect our seas from microplastic particles.
“Today we have made a very important first step towards commitments which will enable us to deliver on our promise to protect the environment and the health of our citizens,” he added.
It is estimated that around 25.8 tonnes of plastic waste is generated in Europe every year, while 150,000 to 500,000 tonnes of plastic waste enters the marine oceans every year.
The meeting also discussed chemical, product and waste legislation, with many Ministers calling for more information to be made available on potentially dangerous substances in products.
Ministers suggest that the same guidelines should apply to substances in primary and secondary raw materials and called fo a more integrated end of waste legislation across Europe.
In other areas, ministers also asked to broaden the scope of the indicators to other areas than the waste sector for the monitoring framework in a circular economy.
The monitoring framework aims at measuring progress towards a circular economy in a way that covers its various dimensions at all stages of the lifecycle of resources, products and services.