On January 16, 2018, the European Commission (EC) released its EU strategy for plastics in a circular economy (FPF reported). The strategy is part of the EC’s 2018 Circular Economy Package setting out measures to transform Europe’s economy to be more sustainable (FPF reported). The plastics strategy foresees to make all plastic packaging on the EU market recyclable by 2030, reduce the consumption of single-use plastics, and restrict the intentional use of microplastics. Currently, the EC is holding a public consultation regarding actions on single-use plastics to reduce marine litter; comments can be submitted until February 12, 2018 (FPF reported). In addition to the strategy for plastics, the EC on the same day also published a communication on the interface between chemicals, products and waste (FPF reported), a monitoring framework for the circular economy, a proposal on port reception facilities, a report on critical raw materials, and a report on oxo-degradable plastics (FPF reported).

UK-based advocacy group for chemical safety CHEM Trust supports the announced restrictions on microplastics and oxo-degradable plastics, as well as the aim to reduce single-use plastics. The European association of plastics manufacturers PlasticsEurope also welcomes the EC’s plastics strategy stating that European plastics manufacturers are “committed to ensure high rates of reuse and recycling with the ambition to reach 60% for plastic packaging by 2030.”

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