European Parliament takes historic stand against single-use plastic pollution



A large majority in the European Parliament voted today to strengthen the European Commission’s plan to cut pollution from single-use plastic items. [1] The Parliament voted to ban some of the most problematic throwaway products, such as expanded polystyrene food containers and very lightweight plastic bags, and to ensure producers are held accountable for the costs of single-use plastic pollution. For fishing gear, one of the largest contributors to marine litter, harmonised standards will be developed and minimum collection and recycling targets will be set at the EU level. [2]

 Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, a product policy and circular economy officer with the European Environmental Bureau, said on behalf of Rethink Plastic:

“This is great news. Europe is edging closer to a deal on how to counter the ongoing plastic pollution crisis.

We’re aware that companies are lobbying hard to water down the proposals. We now call on national governments to listen to citizens and the scientific community who are urging politicians to act before it’s too late.”

A leaked letter recently exposed how major plastic polluters such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Danone are lobbying national environment ministers to water down the directive. [4]

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