European Union proposes ban of single-use plastic products to reduce pollution

31 May, 2018, 10:47 | Author: Enrique Watson
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A ban on the private use of disposable plastic products like straws, plastic plates, plastic utensils, plastic coffee stirrers, cotton swabs with plastic stems and plastic balloon holders.

The European Commission on Monday proposed banning single-use plastic products such as cotton buds and plastic straws and putting the burden of cleaning up waste on manufacturers in an effort to reduce marine litter. "There is no reason why we shouldn't ban unnecessary single-use plastic items when durable and toxic free alternatives already exist." . "This means different measures will be applied to different products", the European Commission said in a press release.

Earlier it was reported that the EU does not intend to abandon the use of plastic, however, the European Commission (EC) aims to make plastic more recyclable, according to Twitter Vice-President of the EC Jyrki Katainen.

Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen explained during the release of the proposal though that a separate collection target for single-use bottles will indeed apply in 2025, equal to the "median level of collection rate of existing (...) bottle deposit refund schemes in the European Union (90%)". 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. "By setting up re-use systems (such as deposit refund schemes), companies can ensure a stable supply of high-quality material".

The Commission also said it would force producers to assist on covering the costs of waste management and clean-up, as well as awareness-raising measures for food containers, packets, and crisps packets and candies, drink containers and cups, cigarette butts, wet wipes, sanitary pads, balloons, and lightweight plastic bags.

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Plastic ban in certain products: Where alternatives are readily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market.

Makers of balloons will be further compelled to introduce "new labelling on the environmental impact of the product and recycling options for consumers". It is a good signal that producers of fishing nets will now have to cover the costs of collection of old nets delivered to port facilities.

In 2014, Timmermans, also responsible for better regulation, opposed the European Parliament on the rules in a directive on plastic bags, called it "overregulation" and thought that there later would be problems with the implementation.

However, the legislation fails to set specific EU-wide reduction targets for food containers and beverage cups, with a promise to look into this possibility only after a lengthy six years after transposition (circa 2027).

The EU Commission plans to present in Brussels on 28 may a package of measures to combat plastic waste.

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