EU environment ministers agree terms of Plastics Strategy

EU environment ministers agree terms of Plastics Strategy

Progress on the EU’s Plastics Strategy continues as Europe’s environment ministers reached agreement on the content of the strategy at a meeting of the Environment Council on 5 March.

The EU strategy places an emphasis on stimulating secondary markets for recycled plastic, while legislative and fiscal measures will be explored to make all plastic packaging recyclable by 2030, to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics – the EU has suggested that it will legislate on the use of single-use plastics by the summer – and to restrict the use of microplastics.

At Monday’s meeting, environment ministers were in agreement over the principal terms of the strategy and raised a number of other possible actions to be explored, including consumer awareness campaigns, increasing standards for the quality of recycled products, implementing green public procurement policies and improving extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes.

The final conclusions on the strategy from the European Council, of which Bulgaria currently holds the presidency, are expected to be adopted in June. Commenting on Monday was Neno Dimov, the Bulgarian Minister for Environment and Water, who said: “We need to protect our environment from plastic pollution. We also need to protect our seas from microplastic particles. Today we have made a very important first step towards commitments which will enable us to deliver on our promise to protect the environment and the health of our citizens.”