EPP Group in favour of new rules to reduce plastic pollution in Europe
"Plastic litter is eating up our seas and beaches. If we do not act now, we might not have anything to act on soon", said Karl-Heinz Florenz MEP, EPP Group Spokesman, commenting on the vote in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, which aims at setting up new rules to reduce plastic pollution in Europe.
There is a broad consensus within the European Parliament on discontinuing items such as cotton buds and straws, especially when there are good alternatives. However, the EPP Group does not want to go to extremes, like the Left, by proposing a ban on chewing gum.
"Replacing all disposable plastic with innovative alternatives and reusable products would not just be good for the planet but it would also be an economic opportunity. I see an added value in this. By taking the lead, being more revolutionary, we can create new jobs; there are studies showing that as much as 30,000 new local jobs could be created by doing so", he stressed, adding that on average, about 95 percent of the value of plastic is lost, which is €70 to 105 billion per year.
Single use plastic pollution constitutes 70% of all maritime litter items. The European Commission’s legislative proposal, tackling only 11 products, aims to reduce it by more than half for plastics such as cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks, dealt with in the proposal. According to the Commission’s calculation, not doing so would amount to €22 billion in environmental damage by 2030.
MEPs will vote on this legislative proposal in the October II plenary.