14 September 2018 by Joshua Doherty

European Parliament passes plastics strategy

A “positive” vote by the European Parliament yesterday (September 13) on an EU strategy for plastics, has been broadly welcomed by the waste management sector.  

Pan-European waste body, FEAD, whose members are national waste management associations covering 19 Member States including the UK’s Environmental Services Association, said the approval moved along a policy programme which will stimulate demand for secondary materials.

MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposals, with recommendations to ban plastic at landfill sites by 2030 (picture: Parliament building)

In a plenary session, MEPs at the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour (597-15) of the European Commission plans to ensure that all plastic packaging is recyclable by 2030.

Some further recommendations included  banning plastic at landfill sites by 2030 as well as ensuring Member States “use economic instruments and other measures to provide incentives for the application of the waste hierarchy” with plastics.

The report was put forward by Belgian MEP Mark Demesmaeker, also called for a minimum requirements on micro-plastics in product legislation, with an emphasis on textiles and cigarette butts.

Welcomed

In a statement after yesterday’s confirmation, FEAD welcomed the move, saying it will help to drive investment and added that it wants to see VAT reductions for recycled plastic.

“FEAD members welcome the report calling for mandatory rules on recycled content which will stimulate the demand for secondary materials and therefore help drive the necessary investment in collection, sorting and recycling,” FEAD said in a statement.

It added: “From this perspective, FEAD supports the idea of a reduced VAT for products with recycled content, which will allow recycled plastics to compete with virgin polymers.”

The recommendations will now be reviewed before a second reading at a later date

Draft report

Another, separate vote is due next month  on the European Parliament’s draft report issued on 9th July, which recommends making it mandatory to produce beverage containers with at least 25% of recycled plastics by 2025.

This led to a complaint to the EU Ombudsman from the trade body Pack2Go, which said  the report has been compiled unreasonably quickly, has conflicts of interest, follows a “biased consultation process” (see letsrecycle.com story).


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