The ban would cover plastic straws, cotton earbuds, cutlery, balloon sticks and drink stirrers. The proposal also has aggressive goals for managing other single-use plastics.
The European Commission’s proposal was presented at a May 28 news conference in Brussels by Frans Timmermans and Jyrki Katainen, two EC vice presidents.
The commission targeted 10 of the most commonly found single-use plastic products as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.
“We have put together a directive, which will cover 70 percent of the litter found on European beaches,” Timmermans said.
Single-use plastic products for which alternatives are readily available will be banned outright.
“These products are: plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and sticks for balloons,” Timmermans said. “Let me be very clear. These products won’t disappear; they’ll just be made with different materials.”
The use of products for which no straightforward alternatives have yet been developed will be curbed, with member states being required to achieve a “significant reduction.” For example, states would be required to collect 90 percent of single-use plastic drink bottles by 2025.
Additionally, the proposal includes design and labeling requirements and waste management and clean-up obligations for producers.
Source: Plastics News
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