EU At War With Plastic Waste

Finally, in what many people are calling ‘long overdue’ the EU vows it’s focus on tackling the nations unfathomable plastic waste issues. Brussels is now targeting single use plastics in one of the most frantic clean-up plans the EU has ever seen. It’s main aim is to make all packaging either recyclable or reusable by 2030 at the latest. Europe is in desperate need of this action plan as it’s struggles with plastic waste are shocking and urgent.

The notion that every single piece of plastic packaging must now be reusable or recyclable by 2030 is something the majority of people involved managed to actively get behind. The news comes after China took the first steps in banning imports of foreign and recyclable material.

This decision was discussed at length in Brussels last Tuesday and a plastics strategy was launched to help change the minds of people in Europe and cause them to think twice about how they handle their waste. People are currently committing a potential tax damaging policy. But regardless of this, we must modernise the production of plastics and their collection. To do this, the EU have offered up €350m to fund the research into this cause.

What Do The Experts Say?

Frans Timmermans, the vice-president of the whole commission says that Brussels’ main priority was to make a definite clamp down on the “single-use plastics that take five seconds to produce, you use it for five minutes and it takes 500 years to break down again,”.

He went on to include a list of throw away items made from plastics such as drinking straws, cups, bottles, stirrers and lids. One of the main issues, he found, was takeaway packaging. It’s clear something more needs to be done and has needed to be done for a very long time. It’s a great move forward for the economy and environment that the EU have decided to take.

In an interview a Dutch diplomat describes the negative effects of our current plastic use, “If children knew what the effects are of using single-use plastic straws for drinking sodas, or whatever, they might reconsider and use paper straws or no straws at all. We are going to choke on plastic if we don’t do anything about this. How many millions of straws do we use every day across Europe? I would have people not use plastic straws any more.”

“It only took me once to explain to my children. And now … they go looking for paper straws, or don’t use straws at all. It is an issue of mentality. [One] of the challenges we face is to explain to consumers that arguably some of the options in terms of the colour of bottles you can buy will be more limited than before. But I am sure that if people understand that you can’t buy that lively green bottle, it will have a different colour, but it can be recycled, people will buy into this.”

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