MEPs debate future of PVC

Bowe slams Commission green paper as a "blinkered" political compromise

A European Commission strategy to deal with the environmental impact of PVC is "blinkered" and could lead the EU down a "blind alley" of regulation, MEPs in the European Parliament's environment committee heard today during a debate on the European Commission's green paper on the polymer.

British socialist David Bowe told the committee that the strategy took the wrong approach to waste legislation by focusing on a single material rather than on a particular waste stream such as packaging. The green paper "is the result of political pressure from the previous [Commission] regime," Mr Bowe said.

The Commission began work on the green paper for a "horizontal" strategy after proposed restrictions on PVC in car manufacture were opposed internally by its industry directorate. A wide ranging consultation period is now coming to a close, after which the Commission will decide what further action to propose.

Aside from Mr Bowe's on the Commission's general approach, the discussion revealed most speakers from socialist, green and liberal parties to be in broad agreement with the parliament's rapporteur on PVC, Guido Sacconi. Mr Sacconi's report for the committee advocated a limited product substitution policy to reduce PVC waste (ENDS Daily 4 January). However, the debate was one-sided because most members of the committee's largest party, the European People's Party, were absent.

Follow Up:
European Parliament environment committee, tel: +32 2 284 2111. See also the Sacconi report, available in other EU languages here.

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