On May 12, 2021, the European Commission (EC) announced its adoption of the EU Action Plan ‘Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water, and Soil.’ The action plan is a deliverable within the European Green Deal (FPF reported) and will also be the focus of the EU Green Week events taking place on June 1­ – 4, 2021. The plan provides a vision for the year 2050 to create “a world where pollution is reduced to levels that are no longer harmful to human health and natural ecosystems, as well as the steps to get there.” The steps include specific intermediate targets to reach by 2030, such as reducing plastic litter at sea by 50%, microplastics released into the environment by 30%, and residual municipal waste by 50%. To achieve these targets, the Action Plan introduces multiple initiatives including reviewing and improving set air and water quality standards, revising EU waste laws to follow clean and circular economy principles, promoting zero pollution from production and consumption, and relevant enforcement actions.

The Action Plan is meant to work together with the recently announced Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (FPF reported) to make possible the EU’s “zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment.” The Action Plan is detailed in a communications document in addition to a series of annexes.

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European Commission (May 12, 2021). “European Green Deal: Commission aims for zero pollution in air, water and soil.”

European Commission (May 12, 2021). “Zero Pollution Action Plan.”


European Commission (May 12, 2021). “Pathway to a Healthy Planet for All – EU Action Plan: ‘Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil’.” (pdf)

European Commission (May 12, 2021). “Annexes to: Pathway to a Healthy Planet for All – EU Action Plan: ‘Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil’.” (pdf)