Biodegradable plastics will not solve plastic pollution, says the EU Parliament
The European Parliament called for a number of additional measures that go beyond the Commission’s original proposals, including:
(*) A ban on microplastics in cosmetics, personal care products, detergents and cleaning products by 2020, and concrete measures to tackle other sources of microplastics;
(*) A complete ban on oxo-degradable plastics – a source of microplastic pollution – by 2020;
(*) The reduction of hazardous substances in plastics, to ensure that what is recycled is free from dangerous chemicals;
(*) That the priority should be to prevent plastic waste from being produced in the first place, followed by reuse and recycling, with landfill or incineration of plastic waste as a last resort.
However, the European Parliament failed to back measures to tackle widespread pollution from plastic pellets, which are melted down to make everyday plastic items. It also failed to support stronger economic incentives to reduce plastic production and consumption.
The European Commission has already begun to implement some measures announced in its Plastics Strategy, notably a proposal on legislation to reduce marine pollution from single-use plastics and fishing gear, currently being discussed both in the European Parliament and by national governments.
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