EU To Ban Most Single-Use Plastics By 2021

by Rudy Sanchez on 10/26/2018 | 1 Minute Read

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to ban many single-use plastics by a vote of 571-53, reports the BBC. While there are some additional procedural steps before the ban goes into in effect, the EU expects the ban on single-use cutlery, cotton buds, straws and coffee stirrers to go into effect throughout Europe by 2021.

The ban also includes directives to reduce the use of items for which no alternatives exist by 25%. These items include single-use sandwich boxes and food containers for items such as produce and desserts like ice cream.

Cigarette filters containing plastic will also have to be reduced 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2030. According to Ocean Conservancy, cigarette butts are the most collected item of litter on the beach.

Editorial photograph

The legislation also addresses abandoned or lost fishing gear, mandating that member states collect at least half of this fishing gear, with a target of recycling at least 15% by 2025. Tobacco companies and producers would be responsible for the cost of waste collection for cigarette butts and fishing gear respectively.

“It is essential in order to protect the marine environment and reduce the costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe, estimated at 22 billion euros by 2030,” says Belgium EU Parliament member Frederique Ries, who is responsible for the bill.

While member states such as the UK have already passed similar laws, this bill is the largest banning single-use plastic to date, affecting 28 countries and over 513 million people.

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