plastic straws

The European Commission reveals plans to limit plastic waste, particularly in the form of straws, coffee stirrers, cotton swabs and single-use plastic cups, plates and utensils, Index.hu and Deutsche Welle report. The proposal aims to reduce plastic pollution in cities and oceans.

German Environment Minister, Svenja Schulze was talking on German public broadcaster ARD about the issue, and about the EU’s plans to reduce plastic waste.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has warned that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050 if we do not do something now.

Schulze told on ARD that she thinks the use of single-use plastic products, such as plates, cups, utensils and straws, should be regulated at a European level. Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, told ARD that 700 kg of plastic waste gets into our oceans every second.

The European Commission plans to ban the use of single-use plastic products in order to fight against plastic waste, and to reduce plastic pollution in cities and oceans.

The European Commission presented a draft directive about the issue on Monday.

The draft had already caused controversy when it was first mentioned in May. Consumers argued how hard this ban would make the organisation of grill and birthday parties or any kind of outdoor activity. However, the European Commission argues that nowadays, there are more environment-friendly alternatives available for these products.

The European Commission asked experts to investigate which are the top 10 plastic products most often collected on beaches. Leading this list were: straws, plastic plates and utensils.

As soon as there will be eco-friendly alternatives for all of these plastic products on this list all of them will be banned by the EU, or at least that is the play.

Besides banning the private use of disposable plastic products (straws, plastic plates, plastic utensils, plastic coffee stirrers, cotton swabs with plastic stems and plastic balloon holders), the Commission’s draft also includes the following (source: Deutsche Welle):

  • For every kilogram of plastic waste that was not recycled, EU states would be required to pay a certain amount to the EU budget.
  • Each member state should use a deposit system or other measure in order to collect 90 percent of plastic bottles used in their country by 2025.
  • The use of plastic cups and packaging for fast food should also be curbed.
  • An increase in consumer information about the dangers of plastic packaging.

Of course, the draft needs to be discussed by all EU member states and needs to be presented at the European Parliament as well.

On the topic: Recently, LMP political party accused the Hungarian government of belittling environmental issues. While a group of dedicated environmental professionals created an amazing project called Planet ERATH, which teaches young children about pollution and other important environmental issues.

Source: www.index.hu; www.dw.com

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