In just over a decade, every single piece of packaging used across Europe could be reusable or recyclable.
That's the new plan set out by the European Union, to cleanse the environment of plastic waste while also driving growth and innovation. It follows China's decision to ban imports of foreign recyclable material.
The strategy could see far fewer everyday items such as plastic bags and bottles on our streets, a modernised approach to plastics production and heavier taxes imposed. More than £300 million is being invested in new research.
Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President of the European Commission said; "By 2030 which is only 12 years away, all plastic packages in the EU market must be reusable or recyclable in a profitable manner. We are going to turn out packaging legislation inside out and review what kind of plastic packaging can be put on the market to enable easy and cost-effective recycling".
Timmermans referred to dangerous single-use plastics, such as drinking straws, “lively coloured” bottles that do not degrade, coffee cups, lids and stirrers, cutlery and takeaway packaging.
Europeans generate 25 million tonnes of plastic waste every year but less than 30% is recycled.
The EU wants 55% of all plastic to be recycled by 2030 and for member states to reduce the use of bags per person from 90 a year to 40 by 2026.
The proposals will be reviewed over the coming months before heading to the European Parliament.