Cleaning plastic litter is a matter of survival for our oceans, say S&Ds
Plastics are killing our marine life and environment and Socialists and Democrats are committed to change the existing culture of disposable products. As part of the Waste Package and Circular Economy, the S&D Group called for specific legislation to tackle the impact of certain plastic products in the environment.
Today, S&Ds backed a Directive targeting the main sources of macro-plastics found in Europe’s seas and beaches, which account for 70% of marine litter. This includes ten single-use plastic products, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.
S&D spokesperson on this issue, Massimo Paolucci MEP, said:
“Plastic has become a plague for our planet, with 8 million tonnes being thrown to the oceans every year. We all need to take responsibility, and we are pushing for Europe to do its part a soon as possible.
“We have adopted a whole battery of measures to reduce the production and use of single-use plastics and also to increase recycling. Here the development of innovative alternative materials is also crucial.
“As S&Ds we tried to improve the original proposal by strengthening it with clear deadlines to achieve the reduction targets and by ensuring that businesses and industries will contribute to the cost of cleaning single-use plastics. We also called for awareness raising and better information to our citizens so that they know how to better overcome the current culture of waste.”
Miriam Dalli MEP, S&D spokesperson on environment and health, said:
“A truckload of plastic is emptied in our seas every minute. Our citizens are becoming more conscious about the harmful impacts on our environment, making this the right opportunity for policymakers to take action.
“No member state on its own can make a drastic difference but together, with common policies, we can really push forward a positive change towards reducing single-use plastics and increasing recyclable material.
“Today’s vote is just the first step and we should start moving towards an international legal agreement that defines clear and strong targets aimed at recycling all plastic material and stopping once and for all the leakage of plastic litter into our seas.”