The European Directive regarding the reduction of the impact and elimination of certain plastic products in the environment. In Europe, 80 to 85% of marine litter is plastic waste, of which single-use plastic items represent 50% and those related to fishing 27% of the total. The Directive has been drawn up in the context of the Action Plan for the Circular Economy which will also contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals No. 12 and 14 on sustainable consumption and production patterns and conservation of the seas.
The United Nations Environment Program estimates that between 15% and 40% of the plastic produced in the world ends up every year in the seas, which means more than 8 million tons per year. Given this worrying situation, the European Union wants to guarantee that by 2030 all plastic packaging is recyclable (Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy).
There is increasing evidence of the serious effects of plastics on the environment. The urgency to find ways to stop and turn this reality around involves applying effective and comprehensive measures that change consumption habits and extend the life of products through the Circular Economy. The road is now a little shorter, and if the Deposit, Return and Return System (SDDR a>) and forms of responsible consumption oriented towards the elimination of plastic begin to be promoted, we would take another big step to eliminate these materials from our lives.
On the other hand, the proportions of waste produced in other sectors are also alarming. In the case of food, it is estimated that 1/3 of what is produced is wasted. This amount could feed 2 billion people and thus end the hunger currently experienced by 800 million people (video ).
While recycling rates in Europe demonstrate greater social awareness, with a considerable increase in recent years, European policies seek to achieve more ambitious goals with policies aimed at prioritizing no waste generation. From there we must begin to configure more circular production and consumption systems, which serve to leave behind this current model of using and throwing away so carefree.