Ocean pollution, in particular plastics, has been receiving more attention in recent years, both from the public and among policy makers. A new directive on reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, often shortened to the ‘single-use plastics directive’, seeks to address in particular the top 10 single-use plastics and discarded fishing gear found on European beaches (see Figure 2 below). It builds on the 2015 circular economy action plan and on the 2018 strategy for plastics in a circular economy, and introduces measures such as bans and requirements relating to consumption reduction, product design, labelling and awareness-raising and additional extended producer responsibility requirements).
Composition of marine litter found on European beaches (in 2016, share by item count)
European Parliamentary Research Service
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