"If we don't change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050," said European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans. "The only long-term solution is to reduce plastic waste by recycling and reusing more."
Europeans produce 25 million tons of plastic waste annually, but less than 30% is recycled.
Microplastics enter the air, water and food systems with unknown consequences on human and wildlife health.
Under proposals put forward at the beginning of 2018, British Prime Minister Theresa May says she is hoping to eradicate avoidable plastic by 2042. Her outline plan to create a "cleaner, greener Britain" includes a suggestion to encourage supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles.