Citing the harmful effects of hazardous plastics and plastic bags, the European Parliament passed a resolution last week calling for specific action to reduce plastic waste and set targets for recycling. It calls for a phase out of practices that landfill recyclable and recoverable waste by 2020, and discourages incineration of that waste.
According to ecowatch.com:
Parliament has shown the way to deal with the huge problem of the detrimental impact of plastic waste on the environment and human health. We said today that we want to change bad habits and account for our products, from production through to final disposal. By putting these products to good use and recycling them as much as possible, we close the loop and give effect to the concept of a ‘circular’ economy. This will also help to clean up our seas and land, while creating more job opportunities.
The resolution calls for phasing out plastic bags and banning the most hazardous plastics:
MEPs believe that the most dangerous plastics should be withdrawn from the market. The use of single-use plastic bags should be phased out wherever possible. They also call for bolder steps to tackle illegal exports and dumping of plastic waste.
One of the most commonly found items on coastal cleanup days, single-use plastic grocery bags essentially never degrade. They break into smaller and smaller pieces that can marine wildlife can mistake for food. Recent studies have revealed that plastic waste can leach chemicals into both water and sand.