Environment Commissioner in favour of “Beat Plastic Pollution” campaign

Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou has expressed her support for the UN campaign Beat Plastic Pollution, on the occasion of the International Environment Day.

The United Nations have set as the focus of the International Environment Day for 2018 combating pollution from plastics under the slogan Beat Plastic Pollution; if you can’t reuse it, refuse it, a press release issued from her office today says.

The European policy on plastic materials constitutes part of the transition towards a more cyclical economy, the press release adds.

As part of this policy, it continues, the environment will be protected from pollution from plastic materials while at the same time enhancing growth and innovation, so that this challenge can become a positive agenda for the future of Europe.

The new plans provide that by 2030 only recyclable plastic containers will be available in the EU market, consumption of one use plastic products will drop and the intentional use of microplastics will be limited.

According to the Environment Commissioner’s press release if the way of production and use of plastic materials does not change, in 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than fish.

We need to prevent the entry of plastic materials in the water, the food, even in our organism, it notes.

The only long-term solution is the reduction of plastic waste by increasing recycling and re-use of materials, it adds.

Panayiotou believes that this is a challenge which we ought to face together, citizens, industry and governments. We need to invest in new innovative technologies which will protect our citizens and our environment while at the same time enhancing industry competitiveness.

With this strategy, she points out, we will lay the foundations for a new cyclical economy for plastic materials and we will direct investment towards this sector.

This, the Environment Commissioner’s press release continues, will contribute to reducing plastic waste on land, in the air and the sea while at the same time leading to new opportunities in innovation, competitiveness and high-level employment.

At the same time, it notes, consumers will be able to make choices in the interest of the environment and this will be beneficial for everyone.

New plans at EU level turn towards other one-use plastic products and fishing products, it says.

Measures will also be taken to limit one-use microplastics in products and to define what the minimum standards should be for labelling biodegradable and compostable plastic materials, it continues.

In addition, it says, new rules on port goods reception facilities will deal with the matter of maritime waste, with measures which will guarantee that waste produced on board of vessels or are gathered by the sea are not left there but are transported on dry land where they will undergo processing.

All the above and many others have started been implemented and /or are in the pipeline at EU level and Cyprus as a member state should take part and implement its targets, the Environment Commissioner’s press release concludes.

Source: Cyprus News Agency