Plastics are an important material in our economy and present in many aspects of our daily lives, but they also have relatively low rates of reuse and recycling and are prone to littering. Waste from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors is an issue of concern, in particular fishing gear that is lost by accident (for example due to weather conditions) or discarded when it is no longer fit for use. Plastics make up 85% of beach litter; single use items represent 61% and fishing related items 20% of these plastic items.
The Commission's Plastic Strategy in early 2018 will address possible approaches to single-use plastic items and marine litter including lost or abandoned fishing gear. Follow-up proposals by the Commission will be considered in the near future on the basis of available data and analysis. This consultation is intended to contribute to developing this knowledge base and guide such future actions.