EU targets plastics use, aims for cleaner energy

EU targets plastics use, aims for cleaner energy
By Euronews
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European Union aims to reuse or recycle all plastics by 2030


The European Commission has taken aim at plastic waste, as it unveiled plans on Wednesday to have all plastic packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030.

Davor Skrlec, a Croatian MEP from the Green Party, sees the commission's proposal as an important move.

"It's needed to inform citizens, especially consumers, because you can already find on the shelves in stores choices," he says. "So, if you raise the price of plastic stuff and lower by fiscal measures paper recycled stuff, everybody will naturally move to the cheaper solution."

The EU budget commissioner suggested that a tax on plastics could plug the budget hole that will appear when Britain leaves the EU.

MEPs on Wednesday voted in favour of cleaner energy targets that would require a minimum 35 percent of energy consumption to be powered by renewable sources by 2030. Another green target sets a 2030 deadline for a minimum 35 percent gain in energy efficiency.

The move, however, is not yet legally binding as the proposal now needs to be negotiated with member states — who may wish to reduce the renewable energy targets.

Jose Blanco Lopez of the Socialist Party in Spain believes regions dependent on coal shouldn't be forgotten.

"The decarbonization of our economy it is not a option, it is an obligation," said Jose Blanco Lopez. "But it is also an obligation to give answers and options to the regions where the weight of coal has been very important."

The Commission's proposal was welcomed by the European Parliament as part of the circular economy strategy that they will vote on in March.

Correction: This story has been corrected to remove references of a Parliament "vote" on the plastic waste strategy.

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