Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons has backed an EU move to reduce the amount of plastic waste in Europe.
Trashed, a new documentary produced by Irons, looks at its effect on the environment and public health.
His appearance in Brussels came on the same day that the European Commission published a green paper on how to reduce trash.
Yet demand for plastic is high in emerging markets such as China, India and Indonesia, where increased demand for goods leads to increased production.
Irons told Euronews why Europe must set the example for the rest of the world.
“We have to start. Do it here. We have the experience, we have the technology – what little is needed – and we have the need and we have the nous,” the Reversal of Fortune star said.
“Let Europe be world leaders. Let them see country by country, how much can be made. How the economy can be helped by serious recycling. You bet your life the others will come onboard.
“But lets not just sit here and wait and say ‘It’s no good if we do anything because what about China and India.’ That’s not the way to live.”
The European Commission will propose new legislation on tackling plastic waste next year, with the aim of boosting recycling.
The EU executive says up to ten million tonnes of litter, most of which is plastic, ends up in the world’s oceans and seas each year.
Irons, who made the film with director Candida Brady, said he hoped the documentary would go some way in encouraging people to change their habits.
In Europe, more than 65 percent of all the plastic thrown away is buried in landfill sites or burned.