In the fight against plastic gauze, the EU commission’s planned ban on individual products such as plastic tableware or straws falls short in the eyes of the greens.
Systematic collection and recycling of waste is the only way to help, european parliament member martin hausling told the german press agency. EU budget commissioner gunther oettinger confirmed his plan for a levy on non-recycled plastic waste.
On monday, the commission will present, in oettinger’s words, "a list of dispensable products that could actually be banned". The draft directive has already been known unofficially for several weeks. Accordingly, the banned list includes plastic tableware and cutlery, straws, cotton swabs and balloon holders.
In addition, the draft provides for manufacturers of certain products to contribute to the costs of environmental cleanup and information campaigns. In addition, all EU member states are to set a target of collecting at least 90 percent of plastic beverage bottles for recycling by 2025, if necessary with the help of a deposit system like the one germany has had since 2003.
"Plastic is the new environmental problem, on the oceans as well as in our cities," oettinger told the "funke media group". "It enters the food chain via the oceans, so we consume tiny plastic particles every day."Europe and germany produce too much plastic that cannot be recycled. The commission’s mabnahmebundel is supposed to counteract.
The plan to charge member states 80 cents per kilo of non-recycled plastic waste was presented by oettinger at the beginning of may. This is intended to provide an incentive for EU countries to ensure more recycling. Every year, 25.8 million tons of plastic waste are generated in europe, according to the eu commission, of which less than 30 percent is collected for recycling.
Systematic recycling is the real answer to the plastic waste problem – not so much the commission’s planned ban on individual items. "This is also symbolic politics along the lines of: i’m banning straws and i think i’ve done something," grunen european deputy hausling told dpa. The decisive factor for higher recycling rates is the purest possible collection and the elimination of pollutants that make it difficult to recycle plastics.
Hausling also criticized the mass packaging of organic vegetables in plastic. This is by no means a requirement, but often the simplest way for supermarkets to avoid contamination from pesticides on conventionally grown vegetables on the same shelf. "There are other ways to do it," said the grunen politician. "If you want to tackle plastic pollution, you have to change the production chains"."