From PET bottles and produce packaging to clothing, plastic is all around us. Yet only 30 percent is recycled in Europe, and the mountains of waste are growing. The EU wants to solve the problem with a new strategy – but not by curbing plastic production. Tell the EU to stop the avalanche of plastic NOW!
322 million tons of plastic are produced every year, a volume that is set to double over the next twenty years according to EU projections.
Plastics are cheap, versatile and do not biodegrade – and that’s the heart of the ecological problem: the need to recycle or dispose of huge amounts of plastic waste.
Despite waste sorting and recycling schemes, 70% of the EU’s plastic waste is incinerated or ends up in landfills – or as litter. 25 million tons of plastic pollute rivers, oceans and beaches worldwide every year.
In Europe, the Danube alone washes an estimated 1,533 tons of plastic into the Black Sea every year. That corresponds to the loads of 150 garbage trucks, whereby the study that determined that figure only covered medium-sized pieces of plastic.
The plastic waste strategy published by the European Commission on January 16, 2018 notes that plastic particles have become so ubiquitous that they even pollute our air, drinking water and food.
Whether the strategy will succeed in dealing with the problem is highly doubtful, as it does not contain any concrete measures to avoid or curb plastic consumption.
Recycling alone is not the solution: even separately collected, single-variety plastics such as PET beverage bottles are difficult to recycle because recycled PET does not meet manufacturers’ quality requirements. In Germany, for example, three-quarters of PET bottles are downcycled into low-quality films and textile fibers or incinerated.
While the EU’s strategy calls for all plastic packaging being reusable or recyclable by 2030, it targets a recycling rate of merely 55%.
Things can’t go on like this. The environment – and in the end, our health – is paying the price for our plastic madness. Please support our petition to the EU!