The European Commission has adopted a new strategy on plastics as part of its plan to advance towards a more circular economy.

The new strategy aims to make all plastic packaging in the EU market recyclable by 2030, as well as reduce the consumption of single-use plastics and restrict the intentional usage of microplastics.

The moves are expected to decrease plastic pollution in Europe, as well as encourage growth and innovation.

“We need to invest in innovative new technologies that keep our citizens and our environment safe while keeping our industry competitive.”

European Commission first vice-president Frans Timmermans said: “If we don’t change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050. We must stop plastics getting into our water, our food, and even our bodies.

“With the EU Plastics Strategy, we are also driving a new and more circular business model. We need to invest in innovative new technologies that keep our citizens and our environment safe while keeping our industry competitive.”

Europe generates 25 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, only 30% of which is procured for recycling processes.

The new plastic strategy seeks to transform the way products are designed, produced, used and recycled in the EU.

Under the new strategy, new rules on packaging will be introduced to increase the plastic recyclability and improve demand for recycled plastic content.

It also looks to curb plastic waste, usage of plastic bags, and eliminate littering on beaches.

The European Commission will provide guidance to minimise plastic waste and an additional €100m to support innovation and the development of recyclable plastic materials.

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