Plastic Regulation in the E.U.

On December 4, Maria Elvira Callapez, Research Fellow at Centro Interuniversitário de História da Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal gave a presentation on the "Regulation and Innovation of Plastic Use in the European Union" at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, CA. Funded with the support of EU Commission's Getting to Know Europe Grant and co-sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce, her presentation began with the acknowledgement that plastics have been demonized in discussions on climate change and pollution; however, much can be done to reform the ways in which they are used. Callapez presented the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy adopted on January 2018 with the goal of transforming “the way plastic products are designed, used, produced and recycled." Callapez discussed the degree to which the strategy has met its stated goals of protecting the environment, reducing marine litter, greenhouse gas emissions and the economy's dependence on imported fossil fuels.