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In conversation with Frans Timmermans about plastics in Europe

14 March 2018 a Citizens’ Dialogue about plastic-use in Europe with First-Vice President Frans Timmermans took place in Utrecht. It was one in a series of dialogues organized by the European Commission held throughout Europe. LAPP-student Emily den Boer joined the evening.

Whereas some campaigns call for ‘stop talking, start acting’ the slogan of this dialogue was ‘Let’s talk’. First-Vice President Frans Timmermans got in conversation with Sian Sutherland (A Plastic Planet) and Marius Smit (Plastic Whale Foundation) about the abundance of plastic in the world and the strategy of Europe on this subject. Keynotes were given by young entrepreneurs, such as Laura Klauss from The Better Future Factory and Evy Liu, founder of Straw by Straw. The attendees of the dialogue were given the opportunity to ask mister Timmermans anything they wanted to know and were in return asked to give their vision on the future of Europe in the field of sustainability and plastics.

According to mister Timmermans, every second 700 kilos of plastic enter the sea. If this continues, there will be more plastic in sea than fish by 2050. Because of the serious problems our use of plastic causes, the European Commission adopted the European Plastics Strategy this January. ‘In 2030 we should no longer use ‘single use plastics’ anymore’, said mister Timmermans in line with the strategy, ‘all plastic packaging should be recyclable’. Also, mister Timmermans called microplastics ‘a threat to humanity’ and therefore opted that microplastics should be removed from cosmetics.

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