AB Bilgi Merkezi

Plastic Waste

It will protect the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation, turning a challenge into a positive agenda for the Future of Europe. There is a strong business case for transforming the way products are designed, produced, used, and recycled in the EU and by taking the lead in this transition, we will create new investment opportunities and jobs. Under the new plans, all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced and the intentional use of microplastics will be restricted.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development, said: "If we don't change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050. We must stop plastics getting into our water, our food, and even our bodies. The only long-term solution is to reduce plastic waste by recycling and reusing more. This is a challenge that citizens, industry and governments must tackle together. With the EU Plastics Strategy we are also driving a new and more circular business model. We need to invest in innovative new technologies that keep our citizens and our environment safe whilst keeping our industry competitive."

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said: "With our plastic strategy we are laying the foundations for a new circular plastics economy, and driving investment towards it. This will help to reduce plastic litter in land, air and sea while also bringing new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and high quality jobs. This is a great opportunity for European industry to develop global leadership in new technology and materials. Consumers are empowered to make conscious choices in favour of the environment. This is true win-win."

Every year, Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, but less than 30% is collected for recycling. Across the world, plastics make up 85% of beach litter. And plastics are even reaching citizens' lungs and dinner tables, with microplastics in air, water and food having an unknown impact on their health. Building on the Commission's past work, the new EU-wide strategy on plastics will tackle the issue head on.

Today's plastic strategy will transform the way products are designed, produced, used, and recycled in the EU. Too often the way plastics are currently produced, used and discarded fail to capture the economic benefits of a more circular approach. It harms the environment. The goal is to protect the environment whilst at the same time lay foundations to a new plastic economy, where the design and production fully respect reuse, repair and recycling needs and more sustainable materials are developed.

Europe is best placed to lead this transition. This approach will bring new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and job creation. With the plastic strategy, the Commission has adopted a Monitoring Framework, composed of a set of ten key indicators which cover each phase of the cycle, which will measure progress towards the transition to a circular economy at EU and national level.

Under the new strategy, the European Union will:

  • Make recycling profitable for business: New rules on packaging will be developed to improve the recyclability of plastics used on the market and increase the demand for recycled plastic content. With more plastic being collected, improved and scaled up recycling facilities should be set up, alongside a better and standardised system for the separate collection and sorting of waste across the EU. This will save around a hundred euros per tonne collected. It will also deliver greater added value for a more competitive, resilient plastics industry.
  • Curb plastic waste: European legislation has already led to a significant reduction in plastic bag use in several Member States. The new plans will now turn to other single-use plastics and fishing gear, supporting national awareness campaigns and determining the scope of new EU-wide rules to be proposed in 2018 based on stakeholder consultation and evidence. The Commission will also take measures to restrict the use of microplastics in products, and fix labels for biodegradable and compostable plastics.
  • Stop littering at sea: New rules on port reception facilities will tackle sea-based marine litter, with measures to ensure that waste generated on ships or gathered at sea is not left behind but returned to land and adequately managed there. Also included are measures to reduce the administrative burden on ports, ships and competent authorities.
  • Drive investment and innovation: The Commission will provide guidance for national authorities and European businesses on how to minimise plastic waste at source. Support for innovation will be scaled up, with an additional €100 million financing the development of smarter and more recyclable plastics materials, making recycling processes more efficient, and tracing and removing hazardous substances and contaminants from recycled plastics.
  • Spur change across the world: As the European Union does its own homework, we will also work with partners from around the world to come up with global solutions and develop international standards. We will also continue to support others, as we have done with the clean-up of the Ganga River in India.

Next Steps

The new Directive on port reception facilities proposed today will now go to the European Parliament and Council for adoption.

Subject to Better Regulation requirements, the Commission will present the proposal on single-use plastics later in 2018.

Stakeholders have until 12 February 2018 to contribute to the ongoing public consultation.

The Commission will launch the work on the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and prepare guidelines on separate collection and sorting of waste to be issued in 2019.

For the full list of measures and their timeline, see the Annex to the Plastics Strategy here.

Background

Continuing in the spirit of the 2015 Circular Economy Package, the Plastics Strategy has been prepared by a core project team of First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and Commissioners Karmenu Vella and Elżbieta Bieńkowska. Many other Commissioners were also involved in its preparation and helped identify the most effective tools covering a wide range of policy areas.

The initiatives adopted by the College today take the form of:

  • A Communication on a European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy;
  • A Communication on the Interface between Chemicals, Products and Waste;
  • A Monitoring Framework on the Circular Economy;
  • A new Directive on Port Reception Facilities.

They are complemented by the Report on Critical Raw Materials and the Report on Oxo-plastics.

The European Commission adopted an ambitious Circular Economy Package on 2 December 2015, of which today's measures form part.

The Plastics Strategy will also make a tangible contribution to reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement objectives on climate change.

The EU has already taken significant steps by setting requirements for Member States to adopt measures to cut the consumption of plastic bags and to monitor and reduce marine litter.

Going forward, there are also significant prospects for developing an innovative circular plastics industry worldwide.

For More Information

A European Plastics Strategy: Questions & Answers

Fact Sheets

Plastics Strategy

Interface Communication

Monitoring Framework                 

Proposal on Port Reception Facilities

Raw Materials Report

Report on Oxo-plastics

Eurobarometer: SMEs and the circular economy

Latest News

Join the #SelfTree Challenge during European…
European Week of Sport Began! The European Week of Sport, which is celebrated in September…26.09.2018
EU Infopoint Newsletter August 2018 issue…
Click here to read!17.09.2018
You are invited! How the EU Helps Make Food…
The European Commission will highlight the importance of food safety with information sessions…31.08.2018

Upcoming events

European Researchers Night - Meet the Researchers
28.09.2018
18:30

Details >>>
How the EU Helps Make Food Safer - Famagusta
12.09.2018
17:00

Details >>>
How the EU Helps Make Food Safer - Kyrenia
11.09.2018
17:00

Details >>>
How the EU Helps Make Food Safer - Nicosia
10.09.2018
17:00

Details >>>
Reducing Construction and Plastic Waste Panel
27.07.2018
10:30

Details >>>
Conference on Cluster Corporate Governance and Networking
13.07.2018
10:00

Details >>>
Jazz Workshop and Jam Session 2018 in Nicosia
06.07.2018
14:00

Details >>>
Advancing LGBTi Rights
26.06.2018
18:00

Details >>>
Europe Day Concert at Othello Castle
05.06.2018
20:30

Details >>>
Europe Day 2018 Celebrations
26.05.2018
10:00

Details >>>
Europe Day Concert - Lefka
15.05.2018
20:30

Details >>>
Europe Day Concert - Famagusta
09.05.2018
20:30

Details >>>
Climate Change at Work Panel
30.04.2018
10:30

Details >>>
A City Twilight Concert at Bedestan
16.04.2018
20:00

Details >>>
Diversity Festival
10.04.2018
15:00

Details >>>
Gender Quotas as a Means to Break the Glass Ceiling Panel
28.03.2018
10:00

Details >>>
State of the Union and 2018 Priorities Presentation
25.01.2018
14:00

Details >>>
Women, Violence & The Media Seminar
15.01.2018
18:00

Details >>>
Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Marketplace
15.12.2017
14:45

Details >>>
Panel on EU Anti-Trafficking Day in Nicosia
08.11.2017
14:30

Details >>>
European Science and Fun Day - Lapithos/Lapta
25.10.2017
10:00

Details >>>
Youth Environment Festival - Keep it Green, Keep it Clean
21.10.2017
14:00

Details >>>
European Science and Fun Day - Tirkomo/İskele
11.10.2017
10:00

Details >>>
Event: No Car Day
23.09.2017
10:30

Details >>>
Panel: Clean, Intelligent, Shared Mobility
19.09.2017
14:30

Details >>>
Civil Society in Action VI Grant Scheme Launch Event at Büyük Han
13.07.2017
18:00

Details >>>
Jazz Workshop and Jam Session
11.07.2017
18:30

Details >>>
Green Jobs For A Greener Future
07.07.2017
10:30

Details >>>
A Summer Night At Othello
06.07.2017
20:30

Details >>>
Europe Day 2017 Famagusta
10.06.2017
10:00

Details >>>
Event: "Education and Business World Cooperate for the Improvement of Skills"
23.05.2017
18:30

Details >>>
Europe Day 2017 - United in Diversity
20.05.2017
10:00

Details >>>
"EU's Today and Future: 60th Anniversary of the Rome Treaties" Reception and Concert Event
26.04.2017
19:30

Details >>>
Waste Prevention and Recycling Forum II: Green Waste
20.04.2017
10:30

Details >>>
United in Diversity Poster Competition Launch
19.04.2017
11:30

Details >>>
European Researchers Night Science and Fun Day Famagusta
30.03.2017
09:30

Details >>>
European Researchers Night Science and Fun Day Lefka
28.03.2017
09:30

Details >>>
Film Screening "Amal" and Discussion
24.03.2017
18:30

Details >>>
Juncker Commission: 2 Year On Presentation at Kyrenia
21.03.2017
15:00

Details >>>
Juncker Komisyonu'nun 2 Yılı Sunumu - Girne
21.03.2017
15:00

Details >>>
Traffic Safety Workshop
18.03.2017
10:00

Details >>>
Juncker Commission: 2 Year On Presentation at Famagusta
17.03.2017
15:00

Details >>>
Health and Safety at Work Training
16.03.2017
10:00

Details >>>
European Action Week Against Racism Panel
13.03.2017
14:30

Details >>>
Equal Pay for Equal Work - Inclusive Growth For All Panel
09.03.2017
14:30

Details >>>
Workshop: Traffic Safety Campaign
27.02.2017
09:00

Details >>>
Human Rights Film Days Opening Reception
26.01.2017
19:00

Details >>>
Juncker Commission: 2 Year On
17.01.2017
15:00

Details >>>
Prize Ceremony - Traffic Safety Video Competition
13.01.2017
15:30

Details >>>
Prize Ceremony - Battery Collection Competition
11.01.2017
15:00

Details >>>
A day in the life of a disabled person panel discussion
06.01.2017
10:30

Details >>>
"Waste Prevention and Recycling" Forum
20.12.2016
09:00

Details >>>
European SME Week 2016: Green Economy
15.12.2016
14:30

Details >>>
Panel on Elimination of Violence Against Women
25.11.2016
10:30

Details >>>
Short Video Competition Launch for Traffic Safety
11.11.2016
10:30

Details >>>
Energy Efficient Buildings & Green Energy Panel
25.10.2016
15:00

Details >>>
EU Anti-Trafficking Day Film Screening and Discussion II
21.10.2016
15:45

Details >>>
EU Anti-Trafficking Day Film Screening and Discussion
18.10.2016
15:45

Details >>>
The European Science and Fun Day
30.09.2016
09:00

Details >>>
#BeActive Panel
28.09.2016
10:30

Details >>>
Film Screening - "Age Of Stupid"
16.08.2016
20:30

Details >>>
European Jazz - Flapper Swing Concert
12.08.2016
21:00

Details >>>
Bike Tour in the Walled City of Nicosia
06.08.2016
18:00

Details >>>
Enhance Your Skills, Increase Your Career Opportunities Workshop - Nicosia/Lefkoşa
29.07.2016
09:30

Details >>>
Enhance Your Skills, Increase Your Career Opportunities Workshop - Pantageia/Yeşilyurt
27.07.2016
09:30

Details >>>
Enhance Your Skills, Increase Your Career Opportunities Workshop - Kyrenia/Girne
26.07.2016
09:30

Details >>>
Enhance Your Skills, Increase Your Career Opportunities Workshop - Galatia/Mehmetçik
22.07.2016
09:30

Details >>>
Enhance Your Skills, Increase Your Career Opportunities Workshop - Famagusta/Mağusa
19.07.2016
09:30

Details >>>
Instagram Competition Prize Ceremony
21.06.2016
16:00

Details >>>
Film Screening: HOME
17.06.2016
20:00

Details >>>
Composting Workshop
13.06.2016
16:00

Details >>>
Construction Waste & Packaging Waste and Recycling Panel
09.06.2016
10:30

Details >>>
Green Week 2016 Launch and Battery Collection Campaign
03.06.2016
19:00

Details >>>
Children Rights Panel
27.11.2015
14:00

Details >>>
European SME Week Innovative Enterprises Event
26.11.2015
15:00

Details >>>
Veterinary Week Open Day Event
18.11.2015
09:30

Details >>>
Photojournalism Workshop
06.11.2015
08:30

Details >>>
Anti-Trafficking Panel
30.10.2015
10:45

Details >>>
Road Safety Day Training Tour
21.10.2015
10:00

Details >>>
Road Safety Day Training Tour
20.10.2015
11:45

Details >>>
Road Safety Day Training Tour
15.10.2015
09:30

Details >>>
Researchers Night Gala Event
29.09.2015
19:00

Details >>>
Sustainable Transport and Mobility in the EU and TCc Panel
21.09.2015
10:30

Details >>>
Mobility Week No Car Day Event
19.09.2015
10:00

Details >>>
Youth Day - Debate on EU Youth Policies & Youth Issues
28.08.2015
10:30

Details >>>
Youth Day - Information Session and Chat Cafe @ Narnia Pub
27.08.2015
19:30

Details >>>
Harmonising Agricultural Competitiveness and Rural Development Panel
31.07.2015
11:00

Details >>>
Rural Development Tour- Lefka/Lefke
30.07.2015
18:00

Details >>>
Rural Development Tour- Morphou/Güzelyurt
29.07.2015
18:00

Details >>>
Rural Development Tour- Kiados/Serdarlı
28.07.2015
18:00

Details >>>
Rural Development Tour- Komi Kebir/Büyükkonuk
27.07.2015
18:00

Details >>>
Environment Exhibition
30.06.2015
15:00

Details >>>
Organic Agriculture and Biodiversity Panel
29.06.2015
17:00

Details >>>
Green Week Fair
13.06.2015
16:00

Details >>>
Nature and Biodiversity Panel
02.06.2015
10:30

Details >>>
Gender Equality and Social Media
26.05.2015
15:00

Details >>>
Children's Storytelling
23.05.2015
11:00

Details >>>
Film Screening "Almanya"
20.05.2015
18:30

Details >>>
Europe Day Event - Children's Art & Photo Competition Launch
13.05.2015
15:00

Details >>>
EU Infopoint Opening!
30.04.2015
11:00

Details >>>
Panel on Energy Efficiency
21.04.2015
15:00

Details >>>
Children's Theatre
18.04.2015
11:00

Details >>>
Walk for Water, Walk for Life event.
22.03.2015
09:00

Details >>>
Women and Leadership Panel
19.03.2015
10:00

Details >>>