Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

EU proposes ban on straws, other single-use plastics

EU proposes ban on straws, other single-use plastics

After the Commission tables the draft directive, it will be negotiated with the EU member states as well as the European Parliament before it can come into effect. Under the plan proposed by the European Commission, ten single-use plastic items will be banned. Consumption reduction targets will be required for plastic food containers and drinking cups and European Union member states will be obligated to collect (and recycle) 90% of SUP drink bottles by 2025.

Plastic straws, plates and cutlery are convenient and cheap, but they are not the only option.

After addressing plastic bags in 2015, 72% of Europeans said they have cut down on their use of plastic bags (Eurobarometer).

The policy is going to tackle problematic usage of single-use straws, cutlery, plates, balloon sticks, cotton buds and others.

"It's a coastal city, with the plastic items having a significant impact on the environment, we feel it's important to take action", said Albert Shamess, City of Vancouver Director of Waste Management and Resource Recovery.

For example, it calls for producers of plastic fishing gear to cover the cost of waste collection from port reception facilities. They notably welcomed measures that urged producers to share duty for elevating consciousness and managing waste.

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The Commission has supported broad citizen support to reduce presence of plastic that Eurobarometer collects. The Joint Research centre of European Commission (known as JRC) carried out in 2016 a complete analysis of rubbish of European beaches. Europe alone generates 25 million tonnes of plastic waste each year and recycles less than 30 percent of it. Getting an idea of your volume is complicated.

If nothing is done to address the problem, by 2050, the amount of marine plastic waste could surpass the total weight of fish in the ocean, according to a 2016 report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

United Kingdom environment minister Michael Gove has been urged to follow Brussels' lead and ensure Britain also tackles plastic pollution. Among or issues, by growth of its projected volume for coming decades.

The same time period is also given for a review of the list of products the legislation addresses, with the possibility to expand it. It is dwarf by the rate of how other materials are being recycled.

Commenting on the raft of proposals was Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the EC, who said: "This Commission promised to be big on the big issues and leave the rest to member states".

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