June 23, 2018

European Union to put a ban on plastic straws

31 May 2018, 10:48 | Edward Lowe

They also believe that the new rules will create around 30,000 new jobs.

The European Commission says that this effort is in order to move the economy away from using these types of products. There are already affordable non-plastic alternatives to these products, meaning that they could be removed from the market, the Commission explained. "We will ban some of these items and substitute them with cleaner alternatives, so people can still use their favourite products", he added.

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. For SUP items that don't have available replacements, various measures will reduce the waste and discourage inappropriate disposal, as well as ensuring that the costs of such wastes fall on the producers of the single-use plastic items, in line with the EU's strong "polluter pays" principle. The straw and styrofoam container ban are part of the city's early zero waste initiative, the Single-Use Reduction Strategy.

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EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans explained the rationale behind the measure saying, "Today's proposals will reduce single-use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures". Estimates by the Commission show that the net benefits of the proposal are obvious.

The proposals are aimed at outlawing many commonplace plastic items including cotton buds, balloon sticks and drink stirrers.

Across the world, plastics make up 85% of marine litter. Companies will also be offered incentives to develop less polluting alternatives.

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The EC's proposal will now go to the European Parliament and Council for adoption.

The European Commission proposed new EU-wide rules on Monday aimed at reducing plastic pollution in cities and oceans by banning several plastic products.

The proposal also sets out how individual European Union member states will have to meet targets for reducing single-use plastics and will be obliged to collect 90% of all throwaway drinks bottles by 2025. The Commission writes that producers will help cover the costs of waste management and clean-up, as well as awareness raising measures.

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Makers of balloons will be further compelled to introduce "new labelling on the environmental impact of the product and recycling options for consumers".

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