European Parliament must close loopholes, say Rethink Plastic campaigners
Producers could simply market items like throwaway plastic cups as reusable, under changes to a draft EU laws on single-use plastics tabled today in the European Parliament, the Rethink Plastic alliance of NGOs has warned.
Renda Belmallem has worked for 6 months at Focus/Friends of the Earth Slovenia and has now returned to her home country France. Here she reflects on the recent 'Post-Growth 2018 Conference' in the European Parliament from the perspective of the Degrowth movement.
Today – on a global day of action to end poverty, reduce inequalities, and tackle climate change – a coalition of civil society organisations has launched a manifesto with core demands for the political leadership of the EU and the candidates in the 2019 European Elections.
The European Commission has taken a leap forward in tackling plastic pollution, with new laws to reduce throwaway single-use plastics.
The proposal, which is designed to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, and in particular the marine environment, sets a number of different policy measures to tackle these problematic single-use products, from bans and reduction efforts, to labelling and extended producer responsibility schemes.
In the world we aspire to, everybody has equal access to natural resources and energy to meet their needs. But how do we get there?
Our current level of overconsumption is plundering the Earth's resources at a faster rate than they can be regenerated. This cannot last forever – and we are beginning to see the impacts of the system breaking down. Not only at the environmental level, but also at the social one. The number of murdered environmental defenders is increasing by the year, as the overexploitation of natural resources threatens local communities, especially in the global South.
One of the most pressing needs of our age is to veer away from the cliff-edge that overconsumption is driving us towards, and find new ways to live in a world that — to quote Mahatma Gandhi — "has enough for everyone's needs, but not for everyone's greed".
But how do we get there?
Commenting on today’s State of the European Union speech by European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, Leida Rijnhout from Friends of the Earth Europe said:
“We need a fundamental rethink of the kind of Europe we want – in some areas President Juncker seems to recognise this, but in others it is very much business as usual. It remains to be seen whether his proposals will go far enough to really bridge the gap between the EU its citizens.
More than 250 non-government organisations from across Europe have today released an alternative vision for a more democratic, just and sustainable Europe.
Intended to influence the debate on the future direction of Europe, this alternative vision is endorsed by organisations representing a multitude of public interest issues, including labour rights, culture, development, environment, health, women's rights, youth, and anti-discrimination groups.
A number of existing and emerging EU policies and initiatives to green plastics, packaging, fuels and more through plant-based sources are at risk of backfiring with big social and environmental impacts, according to a new report from Friends of the Earth Europe.