The European Union has released plans to recycle all plastic by the year 2030. It wants to ban all types of plastic that can only be used once. The measure comes as a consequence of China’s decision to ban imports of foreign plastic that is to be recycled in in the country. Currently, the EU exports half of its collected plastic, most of which goes to China.
The European Commission also plans to reduce plastic waste that is washed up on North Sea, Atlantic and Mediterranean shores. According to the new proposal, it will be illegal to dump plastic waste in the open seas.
Although the EU does not want to introduce a tax on plastic yet, it does aim at the development and production of new kinds of plastic that can be recycled in Europe. EU countries produce 25 million tons of plastic every year but only a fourth is recycled. It takes plastic hundreds of years to degrade.
The EU wants to invest 300 million euros to develop better plastic materials. The new strategy aims at making plastic recycling more profitable.
While the production of one-time-only usable plastic items, like drinking straws, coffee cups and takeaway packaging is to be reduced, families should also be persuaded to cut down on plastic usage altogether.
Non-EU countries are also considering cracking down on plastic. Some countries have already started to tax the use of plastic bags. Iceland has announced that it will ban all plastic packaging for domestic products.
- according to = as planned by…
- aim = hope to do something
- although = while
- announce = to say something in public or in front of the media
- ban = forbid
- consequence = result of something that has happened
- crack down on = to become more strict about dealing with a problem
- currently = now; at the moment
- cut down on = reduce
- decision = choice you have made after thinking about something
- degrade = when a material or substance changes into a simpler form
- development = designing and producing something new
- domestic = made in your home country
- dump = here: throw something away at sea
- European Commission = central organisation in the EU that has certain tasks to do
- illegal = against the law
- item = product
- measure = action that should deal with a problem
- persuade = to make someone decide to do something and give them reasons for doing it
- profitable = to make more money out of something
- proposal = plan or suggestion made by a group of people
- recycle = to use over and over again
- reduce = lower
- release = announce; to say something in front of people and the media
- shore = coast; where land meets the sea
- tax = here: money you must pay to the government if you use or buy something
- takeaway packaging = here: the packages that are used to put takeaway food into
- usage = using a product
- wash up = here: to land on …