The European Parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic items as part of a new larger directive. A directive tackling the waste plastic found on our beaches which is ultimately polluting our oceans, seas and waterways.
560 MEPs voted in favour of the agreement with EU ministers, 35 against and 28 abstained.
By 2021, the following products will be banned in the EU:
- Single-use plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks)
- Single-use plastic plates
- Plastic s
- Cotton bud sticks made of plastic
- Plastic balloon sticks
- Oxo-degradable plastics and food containers and expanded polystyrene cups
New recycling targets introduced
European Member states have also been set some new recycling targets and will have to introduce new measures to reduce the use of plastic food containers and plastic lids for hot drinks. The new directive states that by 2025, plastic bottles should be made of 25% recycled content, and by 2029 90% of them should be recycled.
The agreement also strengthens the ‘polluter pays’ principle, in particular for tobacco, by introducing extended responsibility for producers. It will also include manufacturers of fishing nets meaning that companies – not fishing crews – pay the cost of nets lost at sea.
Labels highlighting affects of plastic waste now mandatory on cigarettes
The legislation finally stipulates that labelling on the negative environmental impact of throwing cigarettes with plastic filters in the street should be mandatory, as well as for other products such as plastic cups, wet wipes and sanitary napkins.
Frans Timmermans, a European C