January 16, 2014
The most hazardous plastics and certain plastic bags should be banned by 2020 as part of an European Union strategy to reduce plastic waste in the environment, according to Members of the European Parliament.
The resolution, which is termed as a "call to action" as part of a European Commission green paper, was passed by a show of hands. In it, MEPs claimed that plastic waste damages the environment due to weak enforcement by the EU.
"Parliament has shown the way to deal with the huge problem of the detrimental impact of plastic waste on the environment and human health," said Vittorio Prodi, the Italian MEP who drafted the resolution.
"We said today that we want to change bad habits and account for our products, from production through to final disposal. By putting these products to good use and recycling them as much as possible, we close the loop and give effect to the concept of a 'circular' economy. This will also help to clean up our seas and land, while creating more job opportunities."
MEPs proposed that EU legislation should include specific targets for collecting and sorting up to 80 percent of waste. Mandatory criteria for recycling along with updated ones for collecting and sorting waste, should be framed to ensure fair competition, they said.
The current EU directive on packaging waste should also be reviewed, MEPs said.