EU parliament approves ban on single use plastics

In addition to the ban on a dozen kinds of disposable plastic products, such as straws, cutlery and cotton buds, the EU will enc
In addition to the ban on a dozen kinds of disposable plastic products, such as straws, cutlery and cotton buds, the EU will encourage member states to reduce the use of plastic packaging and introduce stricter labelling rules

European lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for an EU-wide ban on single-use plastic products such as the straws, cutlery and cotton buds that are clogging the world's oceans.

The text had already been approved in negotiations with member states and EU officials and it will now be rapidly approved into law. The ban comes into effect from 2021.

EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said Europe was not the worst source of plastic pollution, but that the pioneering measure could serve as an example to the world.

"Asian countries are very much interested in what we're doing. Latin American countries too," he said.

"Even though our share of the pollution is relatively limited, our change of the economic model has a global impact."

The law passed by 560 votes to 35 in the Strasbourg assembly.

Aside from the ban on a dozen kinds of disposable products for which alternatives exist, the EU will encourage member states to reduce the use of packaging and introduce stricter labelling rules.

The law sets a target that 90 percent of will be gathered for recycling by 2029 and that they should be produced with 25 percent recycled material by 2025, 30 percent by 2030.

Types of single-use plastics to be banned by the European Union
Types of single-use plastics to be banned by the European Union

Rules insisting that polluters pay the costs of a clean-up are strengthened, particularly for cigarette manufacturers, who will have to support the recycling of discarded filters.

According to the EU Commission, the products prohibited under the law represent 70 percent of the waste that pours into the world's oceans, posing a threat to wildlife and fisheries.


Explore further

EU countries back single-use plastics ban

© 2019 AFP

Citation: EU parliament approves ban on single use plastics (2019, March 27) retrieved 23 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-eu-parliament-plastics.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
6329 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Mar 27, 2019
Great news! All other nations should follow suit.

Mar 27, 2019
"The law sets a target that 90% of plastic bottles will be gathered for recycling by 2029 and that they should be produced with 25 percent recycled material by 2025, 30 percent by 2030"

"You aren't the problem. Asia is. Some of the nastiest, most polluted rivers in the world are in China and India. One study, published in October 2017 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, estimated that 88 to 95% of plastic pollution in the oceans came from just 10 rivers. Eight of them were in Asia, and the other two were in Africa."

-So typical.

Mar 28, 2019
single-use plastic products such as the straws, cutlery and cotton buds that are clogging the world's oceans

It takes very little digging to discover that there is no evidence to support this statement. Why did the author not bother to do a little basic fact-finding?

Mar 28, 2019
It takes no digging to know you're just a dumb sockpuppet of antigoracle

Mar 28, 2019
Otto presents an excellent reference...

"You aren't the problem. Asia is. Some of the nastiest, most polluted rivers in the world are in China and India. One study, published in October 2017 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, estimated that 88 to 95% of plastic pollution in the oceans came from just 10 rivers. Eight of them were in Asia, and the other two were in Africa."

-which demonstrates that if the rabid law-addicted progressives in GBR were genuinely concerned about ocean pollution they would be tackling the real challenge of confronting the real polluters rather than wasting time passing feelgood laws that have NO impact whatsoever (well yes but we must set an example, shant we?)

Since lawmakers are obviously not doing their jobs unless they are constantly passing laws, we can appreciate their affinity for pollution - in this case, of the legal system.

Mar 28, 2019
So I'll have to purchase a box of small bags to line my trashcans instead of re-using the bags I get at super markets? This doesn't sound like it will actually "help" the environment.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more