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All you can plastic

“All you can plastic”, the EU’s strategy

Plastic is one of the most important material in our society.

Many of our personal items and products in our houses are made by plastic. Components of smartphones and laptops, pens, bags and fashion bags, materials used in hospitals and so on.

Plastic made easier our lives with its flexibility and non-cumbersome features, however, only 9% is recycled and the vast majority of the rest accumulates in landfills or the natural environment.

Plastic chemical composition can have multiple side effects on the environment and our health and for this reason many efforts have been taking to safeguard the globe.

The EU is committed to solve both plastic pollution and marine litter with the aim of accelerating the transition towards a resource-efficient plastics economy.

The Union is moving forward two-fold by: the EU’s plastics strategy and the circular economy plan. For this reason, targeted rules apply to specific areas such as plastic packaging, microplastics, biodegradable, compostable plastics and single-use plastics.

How big is plastic waste?

EU generates each year almost 26 million tonnes, of which 80% of marine litter.

With its specific policies the EU commits to firstly radically change the way plastic is manufactured, designed and used then to:
• transit to a sustainable plastics economy
• support more sustainable and safer consumption and production patterns for plastics
• motivate change and set an example at the global level

In the meantime at the beginning of 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly, meeting in Nairobi, agreed to launch negotiations on agreement to combat plastic waste which generate pollution.

EU diplomacy has played a key role in securing the support of the global community coming together in Nairobi for this agreement.

The Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius welcomed the agreement: “About 11 million tonnes of plastic currently enter the ocean every year and this amount will triple in the next 20 years without an effective international response. Thus I am glad that with EU input the global community today stepped up to fight plastics pollution. We will engage actively in the discussions of a legally binding agreement that looks at all stages of the plastics life cycle from product design to waste.

The Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said: “It is encouraging to see the global community come together at this time of crisis. Ever since the European plastics strategy was presented in 2018, the European Union has been a driving force to tackle plastic pollution. We are determined to keep pushing for ambitious global action, as the fight against the climate and biodiversity crises must involve all of us.

Aiming for milestone. The EU’s negotiating objectives:

• Establishing an international negotiating committee for a legally binding global agreement on plastics.
• Creating a Science-Policy Panel for Chemicals, Waste and Pollution.
• Defining and promoting nature-based solutions. The current absence of an internationally agreed definition of nature–based solutions hampers progress in various negotiation processes and can lead to ‘greenwashing’ and wrong classification of activities.

After this, the holding of the first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee will be scheduled in the second semester of 2022 and establishes the ambition to conclude negotiations by 2024.

 

Sources:
https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/plastics/global-action-plastics_en
https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/plastics_en
https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_1466
https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_1314
https://environment.ec.europa.eu/strategy/plastics-strategy_en

 

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Info Astrid Amodeo

Agente Consolare nei Paesi Bassi ma prima di tutto cittadina europea. All'età di quattordici anni inizia a viaggiare (per studio prima, per lavoro poi) e da lì non si è più fermata. Conosce sette lingue straniere e ne parla fluentemente quattro. Ama la musica classica ed è una fervente sostenitrice della Maieutica di Socrate. Impegnata in politica, punto di incontro tra cittadini dell’Unione Europea, e negli studi, Astrid scrive per il Magazine alla rubrica Europe 3.0 dove ogni mese ci racconta quella parte di Europa che abbiamo in tutti noi.

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