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Plastics strategy: EP environment committee calls for stronger measures

12.07.2018 − 

The Commission's European Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy advanced another step on Tuesday when the European Parliament’s Environment Committee adopted a draft report responding to the proposal. Following the adoption of numerous amendments, the report by Belgian MEP Mark Demesmaeker was passed with an overwhelming majority of 51 votes in favour, 1 opposed and no abstentions. The report is to be put to a plenary vote in the second week of September, according to the Environment Committee.

The Committee calls on the Commission to consider introducing measures for minimum recycled content for specific plastic products. The Commission is also strongly supported Commission efforts to more precisely define the terms “bio-based plastics”, “biodegradability” and “compostability”. The Commission should also take stronger measures with regard to oxo-degradable plastics. Where the Commission had wanted the European chemicals agency ECHA to propose possible restrictions on oxo-degradable plastics from 2020, the report calls for a complete ban of the materials from 2020.

The committee’s support for a ban on oxo-degradable plastics was praised by environmental protection organisations such as the European Environment Bureau (EEB). Environmental groups also welcomed other measures going above and beyond the Commission’s original proposal. These included a ban on the addition of microplastics to cosmetic, personal care and cleaning products to go into effect in 2020.

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