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During its March II plenary session, the European Parliament is scheduled to vote on three Council regulations that complete the architecture of the revenue system of the EU budget. The consent procedure applies to the implementing measures, while legislative opinions (consultation procedure) are to be adopted on the operational provisions. Prior to the votes, Parliament will hold a joint debate on the broader reform of EU own resources, for which a roadmap and guiding principles have recently been ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions (PETI), focuses on the pervasive use of plastics and reviews the rising consensus on the potential eco-toxicological impacts of these materials, in particular of smaller plastic particles, dubbed microplastics. It discusses possible mitigation strategies aimed at curtailing the prevalence of (micro)plastics, as well as emerging alternatives ...

Most of the plastic in our oceans originates from land-based sources. On European beaches, plastics make up 80-85 % of marine litter, which is considered a major threat to marine and coastal biodiversity. Marine litter also costs the European Union economy an estimated €259 million to €695 million per year. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal seeking to address the issue of marine litter from plastics. The proposal would introduce a series of measures regarding ...

Reducing marine litter from plastics

At a Glance 20-03-2019

In May 2018, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal to tackle marine litter, targeting the top ten single-use plastic items found on European beaches as well as fishing gear, which together make up about 70 % of marine beach litter items in Europe. Interinstitutional negotiations with the Council delivered an agreement in December 2018, on which Parliament is expected to vote during its March II plenary session.

Marine litter, most of which is plastic, is a major threat to marine and coastal biodiversity; it also has significant socio-economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal on the top 10 single-use plastics found on European beaches, as well as fishing gear, with a view to reducing their impact on the environment and ensuring a functional internal market. The European Parliament is expected to adopt its position on the proposal during its October II plenary ...

Plastics in a circular economy

At a Glance 05-09-2018

Plastics are widely used across all sectors of the economy. However, the treatment of plastic waste poses several challenges. To address these, the Commission published a strategy for plastics in a circular economy in January 2018. The European Parliament is expected to adopt an own-initiative resolution on the communication during its September 2018 plenary session.

The Commission proposal aims to reduce the environmental harm from single-use plastics and fishing gear. The supporting impact assessment (IA) does not discuss the impacts on innovation, research and development or the feasibility for businesses to invest into alternative materials. The IA only briefly touches upon the implications for SMEs and does not explain why the open public consultation ran for 8 weeks instead of the 12 weeks. Finally, the proposal misses certain measures foreseen under the ...

The January session highlights were the European Council conclusions debate and a presentation of Bulgarian Presidency priorities, as well as the first in a series of debates with EU leaders on the future of Europe, with the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar. Parliament voted, inter alia, on three clean energy package proposals; a review of dual-use items export controls; its opinion on the revised Brussels IIa Regulation; and gave its consent for the conclusion of the Marrakesh Treaty.

Plastics pervade modern life; plastics production has been growing exponentially since the 1960s and is expected to double by 2036. Although there are over 1 000 types of plastic, 90 % of plastics are derived from virgin fossil fuels. In Europe, post-consumer plastic waste is either incinerated with energy recovery (39 %), landfilled (31 %) or recycled (30%). It is estimated that half of the plastic waste recycled is treated in the EU, while the other half is exported for recycling. The production ...

Food contact materials

At a Glance 27-09-2016

Food is considered to be one of the most important sources of human exposure to chemicals. The safety of materials coming into contact with food should therefore be carefully evaluated, as chemicals from these can migrate into food. The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) has drafted an own-initiative report highlighting the problems related to the implementation of the Food Contact Materials Regulation, and this is due to be debated during the ...