Europe has targeted increased recyclability of plastic products in a strategy described as a “transition towards a more circular economy”.
Under the new plans, outlined by the EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans in January, all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single use plastics will be reduced and the intentional use of micro-plastics will be restricted.
The EU has also stated it will increase the demand for plastic content and improve its recyclability by introducing new rules on packaging.
Commenting on the proposals, Mr Timmermans said: “If we don’t change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050. We must stop plastics getting into our water, our food, and even our bodies. The only long-term solution is to reduce plastic waste by recycling and reusing more.
“This is a challenge that citizens, industry and governments must tackle together. With the EU Plastics Strategy we are also driving a new and more circular business model. We need to invest in innovative new technologies that keep our citizens and our environment safe whilst keeping our industry competitive.”
According to statistics commissioned by the European Commission, Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, but less than 30% is collected for recycling.