In an opinion article published on March 5, 2018 by The Parliament Magazine, Julie Girling, UK Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the European People’s Party (EPP) and member of the EP’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), commented on the European Commission’s (EC) plastics strategy that was released on January 16, 2018 (FPF reported). Girling called the EC’s plastics strategy “progressive and forward-thinking” and welcomed that the “EU finally seems ready to respond to the urgency of the plastics issue.”

However, she advised to be cautious regarding calls to “drastically reduce or eliminate our use of plastics.” She expressed concern “about food safety and food waste,” explaining that “the use of plastics for food contact materials, delivering the benefits of prolonged freshness, reducing cross-contamination and providing damage-free delivery to the consumer should not be undervalued.”

The plastics strategy should rather “be the vehicle for promoting and enabling a whole new attitude to recycling throughout the food chain, from the farmer to the consumer,” she stated, while “innovation can provide solutions for helping tackle environmental problems.” Girling suggested that certain measures on single-use plastics, such as banning disposable plastic bags, combined with increased recycling, can help combat the issue of plastic waste.

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Julie Girling (March 5, 2018). “EU finally seems ready to respond to the urgency of the plastics issue.The Parliament Magazine

Plastics News Europe (March 6, 2018). “UK MEP cautions against ‘undervaluing’ plastics.