Coronavirus lockdowns in Europe have led to some environmental improvements such as better air quality and lower carbon emissions, but they are temporary and coupled with a surge in single-use plastic, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said Thursday (5 November).
Big oil producers are pinning their future growth on the world's insatiable appetite for plastic, researchers said Friday (4 September), in a "bet" on society's failure to tackle disposable consumption that risks stranding billions of dollars in petrochemical investments.
A draft EU ban on microplastics would allow industry to use even smaller particles in cosmetics, detergents and paints, which could be more damaging than the tiny pieces of plastic already clogging up the natural world, campaigners and some EU advisers say.
Member states cannot use the COVID-crisis as an excuse to weaken the EU's environmentral and health protection efforts, European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius told EURACTIV Italy in an exclusive interview.
Deadlines have to be respected, says the European Commission in response to calls by industry to lift an EU-wide ban on some single-use plastic items because of health and hygiene concerns raised during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The government is open to rediscuss a proposed tax on single-use plastics, out of concern for the country's world-leading packaging sector based in Emilia-Romagna where regional elections are scheduled in January.
Big brands - from Coca Cola to Kellogg - pledged on Monday (29 October) to cut all plastic waste from their operations in what the United Nations called the most ambitious effort yet to fight plastic pollution.
The European Commission is looking at different types of fiscal incentives to increase demand for recycled plastics, which are currently more costly than virgin materials, Jyrki Katainen told EURACTIV in an interview.
Plastic is everywhere, polluting our waters, choking marine wildlife, and even in our food and water. It is a problem of global proportions but an ambitious EU Plastics Strategy can create vital momentum, writes Pierre-Yves Cousteau.
A tax or ban on plastics won't solve pollution problems, but it would deprive the world od a cheap and valuable material. The solution is to make it biodegradable and recyclable, writes Michael Stephen.