Members of the European Union's Committee of the Regions (CoR) has called for a ban plastic bags being sent to landfill sites, in a bid to boost recycling.
CoR stressed that there must be a shift in attitude towards waste plastic, which should be considered as a resource and a major provider of employment. The committee also warned that EU environmental legislation must be better enforced if its objectives were to be achieved.
The appeal came during a debate on plastic waste where CoR members unanimously approved a Green Paper on a European strategy on plastic waste in the environment, penned by Linda Gillham, a councilor for Runnymede Borough Council.
The report was in response to the European Commission's review on how to manage waste, including plastic waste, with new targets expected to be published in 2014.
Gillham said: "Most of our citizens have already embraced the recycling message and expect us to do the best with the waste and recycle or reuse it. Banning the dumping of plastic waste in landfill in Europe is a logical and practical step to demonstrate that we are taking our responsibility seriously in ensuring that we make the most of our precious resources."
The call to introduce a ban for sending plastics and highly combustible waste to landfill by 2020 fits with a position adopted by CoR earlier in the year where it urged the EU to raise targets for plastic recycling to 70 percent by 2020.
"Plastic bags and containers are seen as a waste product -- we must change minds and encourage schemes such as 'bags for life'. Plastic is not rubbish, it is a complex material and a valuable resource," added Gillham.