The Commission's Green Paper on plastic waste in the environment, published on 7 March 2013, has attracted great interest in many industries.
Plastic waste has started to attract increased public attention, notably due to a growing number of reports about marine litter. There is estimated amount of more than 100.000 t, mostly so-called micro-plastics, is floating in the world's oceans. This is a great concern in particular since plastic and POPs concentrated on the surface of micro-plastics could enter the food chain.
Despite these concerns, there is no special legislation addresses plastic waste in a strategic way. So, there is no good ways for waste recycling, such as polystyrene recycling, the common way is still landfill plastic waste. On average nearly 80% of plastic in the marine environment is estimated to be coming from land.
Stepping up plastic waste prevention, preparation for re-use, recycling and separate plastic waste collection, as well as improving plastic design and plastic product design are all essential contributors to help achieve 'zero plastic to landfill' and move to a circular economy. Plastic products and plastic waste are two sides of the same coin and recycling already starts in the product design phase. Designers need to be involved in the reflection on the entire life cycle of products including the waste phase. All actors designing, producing, using and disposing of plastic products and handling plastic waste will have to contribute to a less wasteful economy.
In order to protect our environment, the government should take effective measures to recycle plastic waste.