287,380 of 500,000 signatures

Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the EU commission), Frans Timmermans (Vice-President of the EU commission), Karmenu Vella (EU commissioner for the environment) and Jyrki Katainen (Vice-President of the EU-commission)

Petition text

It’s high time to rid the seas and rivers from being flooded with millions of tons of plastic waste. We ask you to stop the trashing of our oceans and to commit to the vision of a world free of plastic pollution. This means setting ambitious goals to reduce the production and use of plastic. You will also need to ensure that plastic is made toxics-free and that recycling greatly increases.

Why is this important?

Europe is the world's second largest plastic producer and the vast use of plastic is growing yearly - but now we have a chance to clean up our act. In the coming weeks, the EU Commission is drafting its plastic strategy. [1] This could mean real change for better or a bitter disappointment. The EU wants to fight the waste problem, but behind the scenes, the plastic lobby is fighting for its interests - for example, against bans on single-use plastic. It’s up to us to tip the balance.

Even the planet's most remote corners, the Arctic, the deep sea or uninhabited islands, are littered with plastic waste. [2] Plastic does not rot – at best it disintegrates into micro-plastic. But even then it remains dangerous: the tiny parts are taken up by plankton [3], eaten by fish and then enter our food chain. It’s threat to our health: Numerous types of plastic contain poisonous additives. [4]

The EU can make a huge contribution to a world free from plastic pollution, so let’s make sure it will not be cut back by the plastic lobby. The Paris climate deal showed: if Europe doesn’t move, nothing happens. The EU must now enact an effective plastic strategy - other countries will then follow.

References:

[1] “Roadmap, Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy”, European Commission, http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/roadmaps/docs/plan_2016_39_plastic_strategy_en.pdf

[2] Plastic polluted Arctic islands are dumping ground for Gulf Stream, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/16/plastic-polluted-arctic-islands-are-dumping-ground-for-gulf-stream

[3] Microplastics in the sea a growing threat to human health, United Nations warns, http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/microplastics-microbeads-ocean-sea-serious-health-risks-united-nations-warns-a7041036.html

[4] BPA is fine if you ignore most studies about it, http://www.newsweek.com/2015/03/13/bpa-fine-if-you-ignore-most-studies-about-it-311203.html

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