Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, europarlementariër D66
Plastic is not fantastic: European Commission's plastic clampdown welcome but should have gone further
The European Commission has today laid out measures to cut plastic packaging and plastic waste across the EU. The European Commission estimates that Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, but less than 30% is collected for recycling.
Liberals and Democrats have today welcomed the announcement of an EU-wide strategy, but believe the proposals should have been more ambitious, given the disastrous environmental consequences of plastic pollution affecting our natural environment.
Commenting this afternoon, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy MEP, ALDE Coordinator on the European Parliament's Environment Committee, said:
"Plastic is not fantastic - it is causing great damage to our natural environment and our over-reliance on it needs to be tackled at a global level. Europeans produce more than 25 million tonnes plastic waste each year. In every region in the world, there are seabirds with plastic in their stomachs. I welcome the decision of the British supermarket Iceland to ban plastic from their shelves within the next five years and I hope this kick starts an EU wide revolution. The Presidents of both the European Commission and the European Parliament should start by ending the purchasing of plastic water bottles for use within their institutions. "
"The European Commission's measures are welcome, but could have been more ambitious. The circular economy, and plastics in particular, play a crucial role for European economic development, opportunity and innovation. Without hard legislative measures today, the EU's competiveness is at risk with countries such as China moving forward in leaps and bounds."