Incentives to collect marine litter at sea, new EU-wide standards and definitions for biodegradability and compostability, and a complete EU ban on oxo-degradable plastic by 2020 are among the proposals set out in the non-binding draft resolution, adopted on 13 September 2018 with 597 votes to 15 and 25 abstentions by the European Parliament.
Oxo-degradable plastic does not properly biodegrade, is not compostable and adversely affects how conventional plastic is recycled.
MEPs also advocate a ban on micro-plastics in cosmetics and cleaning products by 2020.
Quality standard for recycled plastics
A stable internal market for secondary raw materials is needed to ensure the transition towards a circular economy, say MEPs. They call on the EU Commission to propose quality standards in order to build confidence and boost the market for secondary plastics, taking into account various grades of recycling which are compatible with different uses, while ensuring safety, for instance when recycled plastics are used in food containers.
Member states should also consider reducing the VAT on products containing recycled materials.
Extended producer responsibility
MEPs stress that there are different ways to achieve high rates of separate collection and recycling, for member states to choose from: extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes, deposit-refund schemes, and increased public awareness. However, they propose assessing if the existing EU-wide EPR on packaging should be extended to other types of plastic.
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