Incentives to collect marine litter at sea, new EU-wide standards and definitions for biodegradability and compostability, and a complete EU ban on oxo-degradable plastic by 2020 are among the proposals set out in the non-binding draft resolution, adopted on Thursday September 13,with 597 votes to 15 and 25 abstentions.
We shall have to think seriously to go back to other materials, like bamboo, and to reuse the plastics.
A stable internal market for secondary raw materials is needed to ensure the transition towards a circular economy, say MEPs. They call on the EU Commission to propose quality standards in order to build confidence and boost the market for secondary plastics, taking into account various grades of recycling which are compatible with different uses, while ensuring safety, for instance when recycled plastics are used in food containers.
It also would not be bad when countries would organise and try to bring people to take more in account how they use their plastic material. Reducing the VAT on products containing recycled materials could also help to get consumers more going for recycled material.
This week, being in Greoux les Bains, I notice still a lot has to be done to have more sensibility in communities to have pre-selection and separate collection and recycling. It would also not be bad to bring in more deposit-refund schemes, and increased public awareness, which also would minimise the throw away in nature attitude of certain cyclists.
According to the European Commission, 87% of EU citizens say they are concerned by the environmental impact of plastics. Global annual production of plastics reached 322 million tonnes in 2015, and is expected to double over the next 20 years. Only 30% of plastic waste is collected for recycling, while only 6% of plastic placed on the market is made from recycled materials. Plastic accounts for 85 % of beach litter and over 80 % of marine litter.
The European plastic market is not currently aligned with the circular economy. More than 25.8 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced per year in the EU, and only 29.7% being recycled. This represents a clear loss in the plastic market loop. Moreover, this goes against the EU legislation on waste according to high environmental impact. Low recycling rates of plastic are mainly due to the situation of packaging waste (i.e. main plastic waste fraction), since it is mainly domestic residue and consequently the quality of the material collected depends on the system of segregation available and the environmental awareness of citizens.
Much more villages and cities should make more work by selective waste collection