EU Moves To Ban Single-Use Plastics

EU proposes bloc-wide ban on single-use plastics

EU proposes ban on straws, other single-use plastics

While applauding the step, Gustavsson emphasized that the ban should "stretch to all single-use plastic products throughout the European Union", explaining that "the plastics problem is not only on our beaches".

The proposal unveiled on Monday is preparing to ban plastic cotton buds, cutlery and plates, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks.

It follows a similar move in Westminster, as single-use plastics are set to be virtually eliminated in Parliament by the end of next year.

"We are providing the industry incentives to "We help the industry to make new products", but at this stage, no more products are added to the EU's banned list said Vice-President Yurki Katainen".

The European Commission proposed on Tuesday increased spending of EU money on Italy and other southern member states hit by the economic and migrant crisis, while reducing funds for poorer regions in eastern countries of the bloc. "It will also avoid the emission of 3.4 million tonnes of Carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030", it claimed. Materials like paper are 58 percent recycled and up to 90 percent of iron and steel gets recycled. 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.

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The Commission is mostly aiming to change the behaviour of consumers, rather than slap extra charges on plastic products that will continue to be available on the market.

"Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem", EU vice president Frans Timmermans told the Independent. Single-use plastic objects and fishing gear account for 70 percent of waste in the ocean, according to the EU. "There is no reason why we shouldn't ban unnecessary single-use plastic items when durable and toxic free alternatives already exist." .

Bans on similar products have had some success.

The implementation of an EU-wide ban would pave the way for the United Kingdom and its devolved governments to introduce national bans without fear of going against the rules of the Single Market. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, a member of the center-left Social Democrats, told the broadcaster that single-use plastics "should be regulated at a European level and be gradually taken out of circulation". In 2016, according to data from PlasticsEurope, production reached 335 million tonnes.

Researchers believe that more than 100,000 sea mammals die from eating or getting tangled up in plastic waste that they encounter. "Single use plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental catastrophes of this generation".

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