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

EU proposes bloc-wide ban on single-use plastics

EU proposes bloc-wide ban on single-use plastics

The European Commission presented its long-awaited marine-litter-busting proposal on single-use plastics on Monday (28 May). The measure would have required McDonald's to prepare a report to shareholders about the business risks of using alternatives to plastic straws.

A variety of measures are proposed, including a ban on plastic cotton swabs, disposable cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks.

The EU Commission said the scheme will initially target the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear which are a severe threat to marine life.

Member States will be obliged to collect 90% of single-use plastic drinks bottles by 2025, for example through deposit refund schemes. Offsetting this, the Commission argues that consumers will save around €6.5 billion, and the governments will save around €22 billion in environmental cleanup costs. The Commission hopes the proposal can be finalized before the European elections in May 2019, and in the meantime will launch an EU-wide awareness campaign to highlight citizens' role in combating plastic pollution. "We will ban some of these items, and substitute them with cleaner alternatives so people can still use their favourite products".

On a global basis, only 14 percent of plastic is collected for recycling.

Vancouver is set to become the first major Canadian city to ban single-use plastic straws, polystyrene cups, and take-out containers. "These products won't disappear, they will just be made with different materials", said commission first vice-president Frans Timmermans.

The Commission is aiming to reduce marine litter by "more than half" by 2030 for the single-use items, while investing in innovative alternatives, which it claims will create around 30,000 new jobs.

There will be even detailed labelling of products such as wet wipes balloons and sanitary towels to educate citizens of the environmental impact they have when they are not disposed of correctly.

That decision entered into force, it must support all members of the European Union, and then it approves the European Parliament.

Plastic manufacturers in Europe represented by Plastics Europe said that the ban isn't a solution and that more resources should be dedicated to waste management for better collection of plastic.

It is forbidden to produce and use disposable plastic spoons, forks, knives, plates, glasses.

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