* Single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers to be banned by 2021
On Wednesday 27th March 2019, the European Parliament approved a new law banning single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds sticks.
560 MEPs voted in favour of the agreement with EU ministers, 35 against and 28 abstained.
The group within the European Parliament, Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), whose president is Nigel Farage; abstained from the vote in Committee and again in the Parliamentary session which voted on the proposals to ban single use plastics!
Whether or not this ill apply to the UK depends on the outcome of the current Brexit shambles in the UK Parliament, and whether or not the Government will wish to ensure this directive becomes part of UK law. Given some of the outlandish, and to be frank, stupid stance on banning single-use plastics because of it being a EU decision and the ERG group in the Tory party; it is more likely that the needs of business will be put before the needs of the Planet's ecosystem! That said many businesses in the UK see the need for alternatives than single-use plastics.
Those who care about the planet and the future of their children, will see this vote as representing a major step forward in the global fight to reduce plastic pollution which is causing immense damage to the wildlife in our oceans and is now threatening the whole ecological system.
Lead MEP Frédérique Ries said:
Europe now has a legislative model to defend and promote at international level, given the global nature of the issue of marine pollution involving plastics. This is essential for the planet.”
Member states will have to achieve a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029, and plastic bottles will have to contain at least 25% of recycled content by 2025 and 30% by 2030.
In May 2018 the European Commission explained why they were looking at the problem with the intent to recommend to the European Parliament that single-use plastics be banned:
More than 80% of marine litter is plastics. The European Commission is proposing new EU-wide rules that target the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear. These products are the biggest part of the problem. Together they constitute 70% of all marine litter items.
It builds on the successful reduction in consumption of single use plastic carrier bags brought about by EU legislation in 2014, and on the newly revised EU waste legislation, which includes targets for the recycling of plastics.
The following products will be banned in the EU by 2021:
* Single-use plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks)
New recycling target and more responsibility for producers
The agreement also strengthens the application of the polluter pays principle, in particular for tobacco, by introducing extended responsibility for producers. This new regime will also apply to fishing gear, to ensure that manufacturers, and not fishermen, bear the costs of collecting nets lost at sea.
You can download the briefing to the EU Parliament issued in 2018 which provides the evidence and recommendations for action on single-use plastic waste and fishing gear in the Unionsafety E-Library using search word 'plastic'.
Source: EU Parliament / Global Citizen News