EU proposes moves to ban plastic stirs, straws, cotton buds

EU proposes moves to ban plastic stirs, straws, cotton buds

They call for the banning of single-use plastic products, such as straws, cutlery, cotton buds, stirrers, balloon sticks and drinks containers, where alternatives are available and affordable.

The UK has led the way - at least rhetorically so far - in dealing with the problem, with the government currently consulting on a plan to ban cotton buds and plastic straws, but now the European Union is seeking similar action.

Member States will be obliged to collect 90% of single-use plastic drinks bottles by 2025, for example through deposit refund schemes. In other cases, the incentive to look for more sustainable solutions can give companies the technological lead over global competitors. That is why the Commission's new proposal targets items like plastic straws, cotton buds and cutlery.

The NGOs also said that the draft fails to address the presence of hazardous substances used in single-use plastic products, which can easily leak into the environment and in our food chain.

The city of Vancouver states that if reduction goals are not met by 2021, it will place a full ban on disposable cups and single-use plastic bags.

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The European Commission has taken a giant step in reducing plastic pollution with a set of new laws that are aiming to reduce single-use plastics. "They can do so by setting national reduction targets, making alternative products available at the point of sale, or ensuring that single-use plastic products cannot be provided free of charge", suggests the EC proposal.

These items must all be made from sustainable materials instead, according to the plan which must be approved by the 28 EU member countries and the European Parliament.

The plan is also aimed at manufacturers of fishing tackle, which account for 27% of waste that appears on beaches, to assume part of costs of ir collection in ports, and of transport and subsequent treatment.

Each country will also have to embark on an education campaign in which food producers are required to label products clearly and inform consumers how plastic waste is disposed. The Commission hopes that raising awareness in the fishing industry will help anglers and trawlers recover their equipment once it reaches the end of its life-cycle. In a plea to hasten the procedure, the Commission urged the other institutions "to treat this as a priority file, and to deliver tangible results for Europeans before the elections in May 2019".

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