Progressive victory as Europe bins single use plastics

21/05/2019

Plastic waste

The PES welcomes today’s decision by EU affairs ministers to agree on rules that ban single use plastics.

The Council of the EU today adopted ambitious measures designed to cut plastic pollution, proposed by Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission and PES Common Candidate.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“It’s us – the European progressives - who are leading the fight for less pollution, cleaner air, and a plastic free ocean and shores. And it was Frans Timmermans, our candidate for the next President of the European Commission, who devoted himself to this cause. Today Europe has taken a decisive step towards a circular economy and more sustainable production and consumption. We can be proud that our continent is a global leader in this area. Protecting the environment will always be a priority for the progressive family.”

The new directive means manufacturers of single-use items like straws and cutlery will now have to use sustainable alternatives to plastic. For other products, new rules focus on limiting plastic use through national reductions in consumption; on design and labelling requirements; and waste management obligations for producers. The directive aims to significantly reduce the amount of plastic litter which ends up in the ocean, harming marine life.