Italian tourist hotspot bans certain single-use plastic items

By: Erin O'Neill
Date posted: 3 May 2018

Local authorities in the Tremiti Islands, off Italy’s Eastern coast, have announced a new ban on single-use plastic items after finding so much plastic waste washed up on their beaches.

It would be much better to replace single-use plastic with reusable items that can be used time and time again, provide free drinking water and refillable bottles and put a levy or deposit on items such as cups.

Dr Sue Kinsey,
Senior Pollution Policy Officer
MCS

This ban means that people caught using certain single-use plastic items can be fined €500 (about £440). This includes items like plastic plates, cups and utensils. Disappointingly, plastic bottles will still be allowed.

There is a huge plastic pollution problem on the Tremiti Islands, with many items washing up on its shores from elsewhere in the sea. Tests have also revealed a sharp increase in the amount of plastic particles contaminating the water. People are being asked to use biodegradable plates and cups instead of plastic utensils.

Dr Sue Kinsey, Senior Pollution Policy Officer at the Marine Conservation Society said: “Banning single-use plastic is a great idea but we are not sure that simply replacing one single-use item with another is the right answer.

“Although biodegradable sounds good it is often unclear what this actually means. Many items labelled biodegradable or compostable can actually only be disposed of properly in an industrial composting facility, so the right collection systems and disposal infrastructure need to be in place.

“It would be much better to replace single-use plastic with reusable items that can be used time and time again, provide free drinking water and refillable bottles and put a levy or deposit on items such as cups.”

The Tremiti Islands’ plastic ban comes as the UK government considers similar changes of its own.

Single-use plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to the health of our planet, and organisations need to be doing more to tackle it.

The UK government is currently asking the public their opinion on a throwaway plastic tax. Let the government know that you have had enough of single-use plastic before 18th May.

Actions you can take

  1. Help us stop the plastic tide
  2. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2017
  3. Help stop the plastic tide

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