Members of the Committee of the Region's Commission for the Environment, Climate change and Energy (ENVE) gave today unanimous support to the draft opinion on a European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, presented by André Van de Nadort, mayor of Westellingwerf (PES/Netherlands).
Addressing ENVE members, the rapporteur emphasised: " We find plastic everywhere: on our beaches, in the seas and rivers, on the streets, but also in fish and even in our own bodies. With only 9% of plastics recycled globally, reducing plastic waste has become an urgent challenge, if we want to move towards a more sustainable circular economy. Local and regional authorities can play a key role here, because they are responsible for waste management, public procurement procedures, a clean, safe, healthy living environment and for raising awareness about the issue among their citizens".
In his draft opinion, Van de Nadort proposes a number of concrete short-term and long-term measures concerning the whole plastic value chain, ranging from improving the design of plastics, encouraging cooperation in the supply chain and stimulating innovation and development in the region.
"We need to involve all stakeholders in order to reduce the unnecessary use of plastic, prevent litter, improve waste management, and build confidence in the quality of recycled material", he added.
Van De Nadort stresses that therefore financial incentives are of great importance to stimulate the market for recycled material and to offer a real alternative to fossil raw materials.
Last but not least, the rapporteur underlines the need for raising awareness about the consequences of excessive consumption of plastic, the need for overall waste reduction and more and better recycling among citizens. "Creating a sustainable society means that everybody can and should play an active part", he concluded.