Science

Commission wants to ban plastic straws

Commission wants to ban plastic straws

The European Commission announced yesterday new EU-wide rules to reduce the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas.

"Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food", said EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans.

This announcement follows reports from earlier this year that the European Union would potentially propose a tax on plastic packaging and plastic bags to reduce usage; however this proposal more efficiently meets the Commission's promise "to be big on the big issues" by outwardly banning such single-use materials.

Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said in a statement: "Single use plastics are not a smart economic or environmental choice, and today's proposals will help business and consumers to move towards sustainable alternatives".

"The scale of the problem means that we can not rely on individual European countries to take action and must instead find a Europe-wide response", co-chairs Monica Frassoni and Reinhard Butikofer said.

A spokesperson for the European Commission told The Brussels Times that nearly 100 items of single-use plastics is not covered by the proposal, such as diapers and medical items.

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Vancouver is set to become the first major Canadian city to ban single-use plastic straws, polystyrene cups, and take-out containers. "By setting up re-use systems (such as deposit refund schemes), companies can ensure a stable supply of high-quality material". Other products, such as food containers made with plastics, or plastic bottles, will see their usage reduced.

The city of Vancouver states that if reduction goals are not met by 2021, it will place a full ban on disposable cups and single-use plastic bags.

They're banning throwaway plastic straws, cutlery and plates!

Stakeholders from the plastics manufacturing trade and the fishing gear trade typically favored the European Fee's proposal and indicated that additional motion was needed, and even pressing.

Each country will also have to embark on an education campaign in which food producers are required to label products clearly and inform consumers how plastic waste is disposed. Single-use plastic objects and fishing gear account for 70 percent of waste in the ocean, according to the EU. They notably welcomed measures that urged producers to share duty for elevating consciousness and managing waste.

On Monday, the draft rules were released but it needs the approval of all EU member states and the European Parliament.