Making all plastic packages recyclable by 2030 is among the goals of a new strategy the European Parliament is examining. The new measures will help European countries reduce the amount of plastic waste they still produce and limit its devastating impact on our environment, climate, health and economy.
This recycling centre in France manages all kinds of plastic garbage. Items such as bottles of milk or shampoo, yoghurt pots, and even cling film are sorted here. This is not very common in Europe. Less than 30% of the nearly 26 million tons of plastic waste produced every year are now collected and reused. To tackle the issue, the European Parliament is examining a new plastics strategy. There the Commission has a role to play. It should revise the essential requirements for plastic packaging to make sure that all plastic packaging produced in the EU can be reused or recycled by 2030. Among other measures, the Parliament wants to take action on single-use items. Plastic waste currently accounts for over 80% of marine litter. Half of this amount comes from single-use plastics. Members are also supporting the uptake of recycled plastics in new products, as well as an increased effort in research and innovation. Up until now we have been outsourcing our plastic waste problem to countries like China and China has recently decided to ban all imports of EU waste plastics so we have to act now, we have to innovate and we have to invest. Creating a genuine market for recycled plastics may allow Europe to turn plastic waste into an economic resource.