PLENARY SESSION / 20 November 2020 / 11:45 - 13:00
Chair / Presidente: Alessandra Bonoli (IT)
Marine littering and plastic waste prevention have been and are among the priorities of EU policies in recent years. The urgency of measures’ adoption to promote plastic waste prevention is evident. Plastic use and mainly single use plastic is subject to a new debate and there is a clear contrast between the drive to reduce the use of disposable plastic and the spread of SUP because of health and sanitary safety issues. From one side, a robust reduction of plastic products and plastic waste, advocated by many because of the dramatic consequences for health and environment, has been encouraged by the Eu plastic strategy and other European regulations during the past three years. From the another side, it is considered necessary to increase plastic goods' use, like during these months and as perhaps for years to come: concern about safety and cross-contamination has caused statewide, municipal, and corporate repeals of single-use plastic bans and this has been translated into a heightened demand for bottled water, PPE, plastic bags and packaging. The pandemic has slowed down the implementation of plastic replacement and prevention. Bioplastics is also an important topic. Is bioplastics ready to replace fossil fuel-based plastic products in some sectors? It is of utmost importance to define the targets and to design a transition that avoids shortage or critical reduction of turnovers and jobs for plastic value chain companies, guaranteeing both worldwide environmental and health protection.