In an article published on July 10, 2018, the non-governmental organization (NGO) European Environmental Bureau (EEB) reported that the European Parliament (EP) Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted “to strengthen the European Commission’s [(EC)] overall plans to cut plastic pollution, under the so-called Plastics Strategy” on the same day. The EC published its plastics strategy in January 2018 (FPF reported) with planned measures on microplastics (FPF reported) and single-use plastics (FPF reported). EP’s report on the latter proposal was also published on July 10, 2018.
The ENVI Committee called for several measures that go beyond the EC’s proposals (FPF reported): 1) Banning microplastics in cosmetics, personal care products, detergents, and cleaning products by 2020, as well as setting minimum requirements for other sources of microplastics; 2) completely banning oxo-degradable plastics by 2020; 3) recognizing that “biodegradable and compostable plastics do not prevent plastic waste in our oceans and should not be an excuse to keep using single-use plastics;” 4) using financial contributions from taxing plastics for the prevention of plastic waste generation; and 5) reducing hazardous substances in plastics “to ensure that what is recycled is free from dangerous chemicals.”
However, the ENVI Committee did not support “measures to tackle pollution from industrially-produced plastic pellets, which are melted down to make everyday plastic items,” the EEB informed. Also, the ENVI Committee did not back “stronger economic incentives to reduce plastic production and consumption.” The full EP will vote on the ENVI Committee’s response to the EC’s proposals in September 2018, the EEB noted.
EEB (July 10, 2018). “EU Parliament backs microplastic bans to tackle plastic pollution.”
Clelia Oziel (June 11, 2018). “NGOs attack ECHA’s ‘limited’ microplastics restriction proposal.” Chemical Watch
Julie Schneider (May 30, 2018). “EU takes first steps to restrict microplastics – What are the main issues?” CHEM Trust
Luke Buxton (July 12, 2018). “ENVI presses EU Commission to toughen up plastics strategy.” Chemical Watch
Sam Morgan (July 13, 2018). “Death-knell for microplastics?” Euractiv
EP (July 10, 2018). “Draft report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.” 2018/0172(COD) (pdf)