The European Union agreed to ban plastic plates, straws, and forks by 2021

by Vera Lovici • 22 Jan 2019

  • Single-use cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers to be banned from 2021
  • Oxo-plastics and certain polystyrene also banned
  • A reinforced application of the “polluter pays” principle

The European Parliament has voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans.

MEPs backed a ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks.

The proposal also calls for a reduction in single-use plastic for food and drink containers like plastic cups.

One MEP said, if no action was taken, "by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans".

What did the European Commission propose?

A ban on the use of plastic items like straws, cotton swabs, plastic plates and cutlery, plastic coffee stirrers and plastic balloon holders. EU lawmakers on Wednesday added very lightweight plastic bags and polystyrene fast-food containers to the list.

Reduce the use of plastic food containers, such as the ones used for take-away, and cups for beverages.

Producers will help cover the costs of waste management and cleanup as well as raise awareness of the polluting impacts of tobacco products with filters (such as cigarette butts), wet wipes, balloons, plastic bags and candy and potato chip wrappers.

Member states should use a deposit refund scheme or any other measure to collect 90 per cent of single-use plastic bottles by 2025.

Menstrual pads, wet wipes and balloons will be required to add a label indicating how to dispose of the product properly.

Member states should raise awareness about the dangers of single-use plastic items.

Producers of plastic fishing gear will be required to cover the costs of waste collection in ports.

The ban must now make its way to the European Parliament and Council, where, if approved, would start the clock: The 28 member states would have two years to implement the new rules.





Vera Lovici

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27 03 2019


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