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New EU strategy for plastics to facilitate protection from the deluge of plastic waste


The apprehensions that there will be more plastics than fish in the world oceans in 30 years from now are not made up. Growing consumption has contributed to the steady increase of this polluting waste, causing more and more challenges.

To address these challenges, a Europe-wide EU strategy on plastics has been developed according to the principles of a circular economy. Announced three weeks ago, the strategy provides for the reduction of environmental pollution with plastic waste by collecting, recycling and reusing more. The strategy distinguishes phase of production and use of plastics and plastic waste management, and sets out the key EU commitments (an action plan and deadlines) in the transition towards their circular use.

According to Vice-Minister of Economy Dalius Krinickas, the goal set for all EU member states is to reach the recycling of more than 50% of the generated plastic waste by 2030 and ensure that all plastic packaging is reused or recycled in a cost-effective manner. Reuse and recycling of plastics are very low, particularly in comparison with paper, glass or metals. Two-thirds of plastic waste are either incinerated (39%) or disposed in landfills (31%). Plastics are most often used only once, thus losing 95% of their value, which results in losses of EUR 70 billion to EUR 105 billion for the European Union.

The strategy for plastics will not change the situation in itself. It requires joint efforts ranging from producers and consumers to recyclers. The EU plastics sector is enormous and employs 1.5 million people, and generated a turnover of EUR 340 billion in 2015.

Embarking on the implementation of the European strategy for plastics, the European Commission calls on all members of the public and private sectors, undertakings concerned and industrial associations in the EU member states, including Lithuania, to submit at by 30 June of this year their voluntary commitments to contribute to the common objective of ensuring that by 2025 ten million tonnes of recycled plastics find their way into new products. For more detailed information see here.

Public Relations Division

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas