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The European Commission wants to take over the plastics industry



– On Monday, the European Commission proposed an ambitious package of measures to clean up European beaches and remove plastic from sea and water, calling on the European Union to play a pioneering role in reducing marine litter worldwide [196592002] The measures that need to be approved by the 28 Member States of the European Union would reduce or alter the consumption and production of the most common beach items such as straws, cotton buds, disposable cutlery and fishing tackle most commonly found on the beach.

"We are in danger of suffocating our oceans in plastic, which affects our food chain and human health," said Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission, who is responsible for the proposal's legislation. "It's in the air, it's in our oceans, it's in our food and in our bodies."

"We will ban disposable plastics," he said, "leading the way" in a "global race to the top" to clean up the oceans.

Several European countries, such as Denmark, France, Belgium, Italy and Portugal, have already taken steps in recent years to reduce waste of plastics at national level, more than 85 percent of respondents in a European Union survey expressed their support for the measures.

Although the process may take a year or more to adopt, the proposal will propose different types of measures for different products. Where feasible alternatives exist, disposable plastic products are banned from the European single market.

In other cases, Member States are invited to set national reduction targets.

For some plastics, manufacturers will help cover the costs of waste management and raise awareness of the dangers of plastic waste. Deposit reimbursement systems will continue to be promoted and member states will seek to recycle 90 percent of all plastic bottles by 2025.

"What that means in practice is that you will not see plastic disposable cotton swabs on your supermarket shelves, but those made with greener materials instead," Timmermans said. "The same goes for straws, stir bars, balloons, cutlery and plates."

"You can still organize a picnic, drink a cocktail, and clean your ears, just like before," he said. "And you get the added bonus of having a good conscience about the environmental impact of your actions."

Taken together, the measures would also make a significant contribution to the achievement of the European Union's climate objectives, with the European Union estimating that by 2030 around 3.4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions will be avoided, or around 3.7 million tonnes.

Forty-six billion bottles, 36 billion straws, 1

6 billion coffee cups and two billion plastic takeaway containers a report from Seas at Risk, an umbrella organization of environmental organizations across Europe promoting marine conservation, consumes annually in the EU.

The report also stated that about 580 billion cigarettes are consumed and their pistons are consumed annually in the EU

Under the proposed measures, each country would have to conduct awareness campaigns on the elimination of "filter products for tobacco products"

The plastics industry and the fishing industry generally supported the proposal of the European Commission and indicated that further action was necessary and even urgently needed.

They welcomed action in particular That called on producers to share responsibility for awareness raising and waste management.

But some lobby groups warned that efforts to endorse the proposed measures would be met with resistance from some sides of the plastics and packaging industries as "a horror perspective," said Vicky Cann of the Corporate Europe Observatory, a non Profit organization, which examines the impact of lobbying campaigns.

"We expect a big backlash from the producers over the next few months against bans and financial obligations to producers who voluntarily insist. It's enough to end the plastic crisis," Cann said.

"In the end, today's proposal is only as good as its later implementation, which will follow a violent lobbying campaign."

Many European countries have already introduced measures to ban plastics in recent years. France banned ultralight plastic bags in 2015, 2016 in Italy. This year, Belgium, Denmark and Scotland plan to ban several disposable plastic products, and Italy, Portugal and Spain will introduce similar measures in the EU in the coming years.

When asked if the EU wanted to ban Timmermans, "We will not ban balloons."

"I want to be very clear these products will not disappear," he said, "they are only made with other materials."

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