Vice-President Timmermans asked to ‘Rethink Plastic’

Timmermans rethink plastic meeting 2017Through the Rethink Plastic Alliance campaign, efforts have been made to secure reduction targets for plastic production and usage in the upcoming Plastics Strategy. A recently leaked internal draft of the highly anticipated strategy showed a certain number of measures covering recycling. However, the overall prevention of creating waste, our core goal, was only targeted through soft measures such as public awareness campaigns.

Our coalition of NGOs demands concrete action to limit the production and use of plastic by tackling single use plastics. Our petition to stop plastic pollution and our letter on single-use plastics has prompted a series of bilateral meetings with Commission officials, including meetings between the Rethink Plastic Alliance and Vice-president Timmermans and Commissioner Vella respectively.

The need for an absolute reduction in plastic production and use, both in Europe and throughout the world, was discussed. Furthermore, we advocated for regulatory measures addressing the issue of microplastics and discussed the use of standards and more general industry initiatives on plastics.

ECOS is active in two highly relevant Technical Committees on this topic: CEN/TC 261 on Packaging and CEN/TC 249 on Plastics. The packaging committee produced the harmonised standards that support the essential requirements of the packaging waste directive (EN 13427 to EN 13432). CEN/TC 249 are anticipating the release of the plastics strategy and have created a working group (WG 24) which will be the go-to contact point for the EC and other experts for matters of environment and plastics.