The EU has declared war against plastic
The European Union wants to finish with plastic waste by 2030. At least, with most of them. The Vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, stated in Brussels that an urgent action plan is being developed to guarantee that every single piece is recyclable in the near future.
Experts are alarmed by the amount of waste found in the depths of our seas such as cups of coffee, bottles, straws or lids. “If we do not change our way of producing and using plastic, by 2050 we will have more plastic than fish in our oceans. We must do everything in our power to reduce the plastic waste through recycling and reusing. It is a challenge we must face together, citizen, businesses and the public administrations. As a result of the European strategy for plastics, we also want to promote a new business model, a more circular one. Investment in more innovative technologies must be made to protect citizen and the environment and maintain the competitiveness of our companies”, stated on 16 January the Vice-president of the EC, Frans Timmermans.
Timmermans also stated that plastics of a single use must be removed because “it takes 5 minutes to manufacture, another 5 minutes to be used and 500 years to disappear”.
“The European strategy will protect the environment from the plastic pollution, will favour growth and innovation and this big challenge will become a great opportunity for the future of Europe. Moreover, there are solid arguments to transform the way products in the EU are manufactured, used and recycled, and if we assume this transition, we will create new investment opportunities and jobs. According to estimations, every plastic container in the European markets will be recyclable by 2030, a-single-use plastic usage will be reduced and deliberate use of micro-plastics will be limited”.
The plan of the EU is expected to get results of 55% of plastic recycling rate by 2030 and that all Member States reduce plastic bag usage. Currently, 30% of the containers are recycled and it is estimated that 90 plastic bags are used per person and year. This plan is expected to reduce it to 40.
In Spain, since 2018, shops are forced to charge the user at least €0.05 per plastic bag. The EU has invested approximately €100 million to launch this plan.
For Timmermans, as stated in The Guardian, it is just a change in our “mentality”.
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Ecodesign means considering the environment during the process of product development. It is an added value, an addition to traditional factors of cost and quality factor.