EU News Jeremy Irons: public need to take responsibility for plastic waste problem The Guardian The European Commission hosted the conference with Irons and Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik to announce the publication on Thursday (7 March)...
Potočnik stressed the need for societal change to curb the impacts of waste and drawing attention to regions in Italy and Spain’s Basque Country - Capannori and Gipuzkoa - which had managed to reduce their waste output to near zero.
“Plastic is often perceived as a cheap and disposable material in our ‘throw-away’ society, and recycling rates are low,” he said. “Half of all plastic waste generated in Europe goes to landfill which should be avoided as plastic can contain hazardous components and disposal can result in undesirable emissions and concentrated, polluting residues.”
But to Potočnik waste disposal presents a “huge opportunity” for resource efficiency. He conceded that the world relies on plastics for many industries, saying that he was “for the dematerialisation of industry in a way that keeps industry in Europe”.