Letter to Anthea McIntyre MEP

by Admin on January 8, 2015

TEV sent the following letter to Anthea McIntyre MEP to draw attention the high levels of plastic waste still going to landfill.

Dear Ms. McIntyre,

Firstly, please accept my condolences on behalf of Transition Evesham Vale following the death of your fellow MEP Philip Bradbourn.  This was particularly sad in view of the time of year.

Many thanks for your email of 5 December. The trouble you have gone to is much appreciated.

I am gratified by the concern you expressed that current performance is unsatisfactory, particularly with regard to the depressing levels of plastic waste still going to landfill. On top of that, I would ask you to consider what probably happens to a substantial proportion of the plastic waste nominally recycled and exported to developing economies: you have probably seen some of the same pictures that I have of mountains of waste being subsumed into the local eco-systems with dreadful health effects.

I am sure you are also aware of the regular reports about the enormous amounts of plastic of various kinds polluting the oceans, seriously affecting fish and bird-life. This also presents major hazards to our health via the food chain, as well as the damage caused to maritime wildlife.

I referred to both the links given in your email, and was particularly impressed by the contents of the green paper. It contained the outlines of responses to most of the points in our letter, in particular the need to manufacture all goods with eventual reuse or recycling in mind. But I could find no indication how or when the various points would be taken forward. It is now over a year since the paper was produced: do you know what plans there are for it?

Regarding the burden of legislation on small businesses, I do sympathise and recognise the need to maintain competitiveness in a challenging global trading environment. But the essence of Europe-wide legislation is that the playing field would remain level for all within the EU, and additionally goods imported into Europe from other parts of the world would have to comply.

The progress being made with plastic bags is very welcome, but a complete solution encompassing all plastic materials and goods must be implemented if we are not to cause further damage to our fragile planet. Plastic is uniquely dangerous because of its resistance to degradation into harmless constituents and the devastation resulting from its subsequent introduction to the food chain. And yet I am convinced that, given appropriate encouragement, industry will find alternative processes which will enable all plastic items to be reused, recycled or eliminated, as it has in other fields and applications.

It is encouraging to read of your concern regarding this matter and your acknowledgement that more must be done to resolve it. I will be very grateful for your advice regarding the status of the green paper referred to above, and any other action being planned or in progress with the aim of ridding us of the scourge of plastic waste.

Let’s make 2015 the year when we begin to properly nail the problem of plastic waste!

Yours sincerely,

David Dunbar

Transition Evesham Vale.

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