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Every year around 25 million tons plastic waste is generated across the EU, but only 30% is collected for recycling. Therefore, in January 2018 the European Commission adopted the first-ever European strategy on plastics to protect the environment from plastic pollution and to promote the transition to a circular economy EU and at national levels.

EU has already taken steps in the previous years to reduce the use of plastic bags in the Member States. The primary aim of the current plastic strategy is to reduce the plastic pollution by transforming the ways how products are designed, produced, used and recycled in the EU. According to the new plastic strategy, the EU will (i) make recycling profitable for businesses by adopting new rules on packaging, (ii) curb plastic waste by imposing limitations on the consumption of single-use plastics, (iii) stop littering at sea, (iv) provide guidance to national authorities and businesses on how to minimize plastic waste and support innovations, (v) work with partners around the world to improve international standards on plastic waste management.

In the framework of the plastic strategy, EU will take certain concrete steps, e.g. a. new directive on Port Reception Facilities will be adopted to stop marine litter, and in the near future the Commission will introduce a proposal on the reduction of the use of single-use plastics. The Commission will also launch the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.