New 2030 Targets To Reduce Plastic Pollution Agreed – Mairead McGuinness MEP

“Moments to make, minutes to consume and a lifetime to breakdown European Citizens are concerned about the build-up of waste – plastic, metal and cardboard on our beaches, in our fields, streams and backyards”, said Mairead McGuinness MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament today, after a vote in the European Parliament on the new EU Waste Package.

The Midlands North West MEP said “waste is a global issue not just a local one”.

“Ireland is facing very serious issue around waste management arising from the ban imposed by China on imports of plastic waste. Today’s vote puts new demands on Member States to recycle or reuse with a 55 percent target for plastics. Ireland is one of the largest users per head of population of plastics in the EU. We are aware of the issue at home and it is high on the political agenda,” she said.

“Today, a quarter of our waste goes to landfill, and much of this material could be used and recycled. We need to break the link of “create, use, dispose” for a more sustainable approach of using the materials again – this is the idea of the circular economy.”

The vote will place new obligations on member states to move away from landfill with at 10 percent target by 2030 and to reuse or recycle municipal waste 65pc by 2030. There is also a target for reusing and recycling 75pc pf packaging waste by 2030.

“Next month, the European Commission will come forward with legislation on single use plastics. 60pc of all plastic waste comes from single use plastics like cutlery, straws and packaging. However, Industry up-take of recycled plastic is low at around 6pc and at the same time, new plastic is relatively cheap to make. We need to encourage the use of recycled plastic – we have to put on economic value on it for the circular economy.

“Packaging plays an important role in our daily lives – from mulch film used in agriculture, blood pouches for transfusion, and take away coffee cups. We need to change our mind-set about the use and misuse of these materials,” she added.

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