Measures to tackle marine litter agreed by EU

07 January 2019

Before we broke off for Christmas, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on new measures to tackle marine litter at its source. Together with other proposed measures, the plan is to target the 10 plastic products most often found on our beaches, items such as plastic plates and straws, and certain food and drink containers made of expanded polystyrene. One of the products on the list are oxo-degradable plastics - which I suggested should be added and I am pleased the Commission listened. Here is their official press statement on the Single-use Plastic Directive: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6867_en.htm.

Oxo-degradable plastics are conventional plastic materials with artificial additives that do not biodegrade, but merely fragment into small pieces that remain in the environment. Not only are they harmful to the environment, these plastics also have the potential to damage the reputation and understanding of truly biodegradable plastics. More information on this can be found here: https://www.european-bioplastics.org/bioplastics/standards/oxo-degradables/?fbclid=IwAR1q8jf4IfHhCEQctoOCpQn1rDCMnUhCimsYM1ZsPyjvS8mmhqmhj0_foBQ.

The next step is for the agreement to be formally approved and for the new Directive to be published - the beginning of efficiently tackling a problem with global implications.

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