Single-use plastic ban proposed by European Commission
Common single-use plastics such as straws, cutlery, cotton buds and balloon sticks could be banned across Europe, the European Commission announced yesterday. There is no timeline yet for this world-first legislation to tackle plastic pollution at continental level.
For each one of the plastic items flagged as problematic, the European Commission has proposed a series of policy measures that include bans, reduction efforts, labelling and Extended Producer Responsibility schemes (making plastic items more expensive to reflect the environmental damage they cause).
These are the main proposals:
A ban on single-use plastic straws, cutlery and plates, cotton buds and balloon sticks
A requirement to achieve ‘significant’ reductions in the consumption of plastic food containers and cups within 6 years, through measures such as national consumption reduction targets, minimum reusable packaging targets, or ensuring such items are not provided free of charge
A 2025 target of 90% separate collection of plastic bottles, to be achieved through Extended Producer Responsibility schemes or the implementation of deposit return schemes
Detailed labelling on sanitary towels, wet wipes and balloons informing citizens of the negative environmental impact of inappropriate disposal
The introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes for waste fishing gear, cigarette butts, beverage containers including lids and caps, food containers, lightweight plastic bags and wet wipes amongst others.
The proposal does still need to be discussed, amended and voted by the European Parliament and the EU Member States. Regardless of how Brexit unfolds, MCS will follow the process closely as part of the Break Free from Plastic movement, to ensure the legislation has the highest level of ambition possible.
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Did you know?…
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is thought to be 6 times the size of the UK
Plastic has been found in the stomachs of almost all marine species including fish, birds, whales, dolphins, seals and turtles
Globally, plastic litter has reached every part of the world’s oceans