The EU bans sticks, straws, plastic plates and cutlery from 2021 – The Province

The EU bans sticks, straws, plastic plates and cutlery from 2021 - The Province

The negotiators of the European Union institutions have achieved this morning a political agreement to prohibit as of 2021 the disposable plastic items most popular, such as plates, cutlery, cotton swabs and polystyrene containers for food, in order to reduce their impact on the environment and help their waste disappear from European beaches.

The European Union believes that the plastics indicated by the new standard they represent about 70% of the plastic waste that pollutes the waters and beaches in the community territory.

"Marine litter is a growing global problem, and we have listened to the warning that, if measured by weight, in 2050 there will be more plastics than fish in the oceans"Austrian Minister of Sustainability and Tourism and EU President of the EU, Elisabeth Köstinger, announced the agreement.

The agreement, which still needs the formal approval of the European Parliament and the Council to be effective, it has been achieved in record time, after the European Commission presented its proposal at the end of May of this year.

The objective is to eradicate the use of plastic articles for which alternatives already exist in materials that do not harm the environment. To the list proposed by Brussels, which includes rods, plates and cutlery, glasses and drinking straws, the European Parliament has added polystyrene containers for fast food.

Among the articles that can not be used in the European Union in just over two years, there are also products in oxodegradable plastic, considered especially harmful to the environment because they contain additives that do not disappear completely and negatively affect the recycling process .

Beverage caps

In addition to the list of items that will be banned, the EU wants Member States to take "the necessary measures" to significantly reduce the consumption of other products, such as plastic containers (other than polystyrene) for fast food that does not need preparation. after the purchase and tapas for drinks.

Binding targets are also foreseen for the Member States to take the necessary measures so that in 2030 at least the 30% of the materials of the plastic bottles are recyclable.

In the case of other elements for which better alternatives to plastic do not exist at the moment, the European Union is committed to encouraging its recycling, for example with regard to fishing tackle, to ensure that they are not thrown overboard in the high seas, but that the fleet returns to land with them and recycles them.

The objective is to reduce by half the waste of these products with the aim of avoiding damage to the environment that would involve costs of 230,000 million euros in 2030 and the emission of 3.4 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2) that same year.


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