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EU adopts historic litter prevention policy

We've welcomed the shared responsibility for litter and prevention of littering which has been established in revised waste legislation supporting the EU circular econmy plan.

For the first time the EU will have a 'joined up' policy on litter and litter prevention set down in a binding legislative text. To date, litter has not been given a high priority by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU’s 28 member countries sitting in the Council of Ministers. So, the new rules are potentially a breakthrough moment in fighting litter.

The new EU litter prevention policy includes a series of concrete measures that have the potential to effect major positive change, with responsibility clearly shared by everyone who has a stake in the litter challenge – EU, national and local governments; producers of goods that often end up in the litter stream; civil society organisations; and, of course, ordinary citizens.

Links between tackling litter generated on the land to address the marine litter crisis are made in the policy. Since 2013, we and other members of the Clean Europe Network, have been collectively calling for concerted EU action on land-based litter prevention, notably to address marine litter. If properly implemented by Member States, this new policy will signal a major step forward in tackling urban and rural littering across the continent and stem the flow of litter to the seas.

Find out more about our work in Europe with the Network.

20 April 2018

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