EC green paper and consultation seek to cut plastic waste

Brussels, 7 March – The European Commission has launched a Green Paper to explore policy options for a strategy on waste plastics, and is inviting interested stakeholders to provide input on ways to prevent plastic waste production, and improve waste treatment methods.

Brussels, 7 March – The European Commission has launched a Green Paper to explore policy options for a strategy on waste plastics, and is inviting interested stakeholders to provide input on ways to prevent plastic waste production, and improve waste treatment methods.

Plastic use in the EU is growing year-on-year, but at present has only a 21% recycling rate, whilst 50% goes to landfill. The Commission is looking into ways to counter these trends, applying the waste hierarchy to a currently under-regulated resource.

The green paper explores policy options for setting targets for use and recycling, implementing landfill bans, investing in development of biodegradable plastics and changing consumer behaviours through improving consumer awareness and giving plastics a value. Such policy actions have been proven to work. Since Ireland started collecting a tax of 15 cents from each plastic bag used, use has dropped by 92% and the remaining 8% of bags raise around €12 million per year to be re-invested into recycling initiatives.

Stakeholders are invited to give their views on whether, and how, to adapt existing legislation or create new legislative acts. To read the Green Paper or make a contribution, click here. The deadline to provide input is 7 June.

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