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Agencies in joint push for stronger EU plastics plan
  • Category : World
  • Date : 2017-06-23
  • Hit : 33
  • File : File does not Exist

José Rojo, 8 Jun 2017

The upcoming EU plastics strategy should set product-specific recycling targets, green procurement rules and limit bioplastic use, 15 European environment agencies said on Thursday.
A statement by the regulators, including Germany’s UBA, Italy’s ISPRA and Sweden’s SEPA, urged the European Commission to include recycling targets for disposable plastic bags and dustbins in its strategy on plastics. It has pledged to publish this by the end of the year.
The strategy, which aims to boost the EU’s current 30% recycling rate for this waste stream, should also commit to setting recyclability standards for plastic products under the Ecodesign Directive, the agencies said. Rules in the law have so far focused on energy use, with plans by the Commission to consider adding recyclability criteria at a later stage.
The statement acknowledged that challenges in recycling plastics differ across countries. However,it pointed out that they could all benefit from higher separate collection than is currently the case.
Deposit return schemes for cans and bottles could be strengthened by forcing retailers to provide multi-use containers, the document suggested. And public procurement should prioritise recycled plastics.
According to the regulators, preventing waste such as single-use items should also play a key role in the strategy. The EU should consider bans and levies to make a difference, they suggested.
The joint statement also urged policymakers to treat bioplastics with caution due to the “common but unsubstantiated assumption” that they are always environmentally preferable to their fossil-fuel counterparts. The EU should set common standards to verify biodegradability claims on a case-by-case basis, it said.
The EU institutions are currently negotiating the revision of the bloc’s waste laws, including a directive setting recycling goals for packaging waste. In addition, the first-ever UN summit on oceans has this week brought together countries to discuss strategies against marine pollution from plastics.
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