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The anti-plastic policy in Europe
Roosen, M. (2019). The anti-plastic policy in Europe. MA Thesis. Gent University, Faculty of Law and Criminology: Gent. 97 pp.

Thesis info:

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    VLIZ: Open Repository 341677 [ OMA ]
Document type: Dissertation

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    Lightweight, flexible, durable and omnipresent, plastics pollute our environment and control our daily lives. However, irrefutable scientific research, increasing confrontations with its nuisances, and awareness raising campaigns are urging the international community to improve the global governance of the material. While some international agreements havebmade efforts to include plastics in their respective scopes, international law still fails to address the issue in an integrated way, due to unclear legislation, poor cooperation, and a lack of enforcement, penalties, and implementation. In this policy struggle, recent legislative efforts by the European Union (EU) can be labelled as pioneering. As notable policy milestones, the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Plastics Strategy are put forth. The EU strives to make its plastics economy circular through the adoption of several measures, addressing each step of the plastic waste stream – from production to consumption, repair and manufacturing, waste management, and secondary raw materials that are fed back into the economy. While much progress has been made, the EU’s anti-plastic policy also has its shortcomings. Among others, binding commitments are weakened by a strong plastics industry, major sources of plastic pollution remain unaddressed and enforcement mechanisms are left to the discretion of individual EU Member States. The findings and analysis in this thesis confirm the need for a strict follow-up of the EU’s commitments, further intervention, as well as the development of a global plastics treaty to scale up efforts.

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