NOV 16, 2018 08:32 AM PST

EU to ban single-use plastics

The EU has recently announced that it will ban single-use plastics as part of the fight to minimize plastic waste. Recent decades have shown a spike in single-use plastics that ultimately end up in waterways and oceans, killing marine life and threatening entire ecosystems.

The ban will focus on the “top 10 plastic products that most often end up in the ocean,” like plastic straws, cotton swabs, disposable plastic plates, and cutlery. These items will be banned by 2021; further goals include recycling 90% of plastic bottles recycled by 2025.

Photo: Pixabay

The legislation passed with 571 in favor and only 53 opposed; however, EU states still are required to support the directive before it can become law and some have expressed opposition to the proposal due to cited logistical difficulty. Nonetheless, a commission source reported to the Guardian, “We hope to have a vote in the European council in November. If all goes well, we could have it in law by the end of the year.”

The EU is expecting the UK to follow suit with similar legislation. As it is, the move puts the EU in a leadership role for tackling the global plastic waste crisis.

“Europe has to come to terms with the fact that we cannot just put it on someone else’s shoulders,” EU Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans reported to Reuters. “If we don’t move now, if we don’t move swiftly…you will have more plastic in the oceans than fish.”

Karmenu Vella, the environment commissioner, also commented: “Today we are one step closer to eliminating the most problematic single-use plastic products in Europe. It sends a clear signal that Europe is ready to take decisive, coordinated action to curb plastic waste and to lead international efforts to make our oceans plastic-free.”

Sources: The Guardian, Futurism

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
SEP 18, 2018
Earth & The Environment
SEP 18, 2018
Are we getting better at predicting fires?
After the last wildfire season, it’s an understatement to say that we need to get better at developing technology that helps us predict fire-weather...
OCT 17, 2018
Earth & The Environment
OCT 17, 2018
100 top companies responsible for climate change
The report released from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last week shook the world with the wake-up call that we only h...
NOV 13, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 13, 2018
Conservation Efforts Are Helping Amazon Turtle Populations Bounce Back
It’s not too often that conservationists get the chance to share a successful conservation story, but as it would seem, nearly 40 years’ worth...
NOV 20, 2018
Earth & The Environment
NOV 20, 2018
This Massive Impact Crater Was Hiding Underneath Greenland's Ice
After searching the ice-covered lands of Greenland, scientists have discovered what appears to be a massive impact crater that was previously hidden by mor...
NOV 27, 2018
Earth & The Environment
NOV 27, 2018
What's behind Lake Erie's algal blooms?
Lake Erie is known for its toxic summer algal blooms. It’s not a good thing to be known for, as recent years have brought blooms resulting in dying f...
NOV 28, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 28, 2018
Does Predation Drive the Interspecific Relationship Between Anemones and Clownfish?
Interspecific mutualism – when two different animal species depend on one another for survival – can be found all around the globe. But perhaps...
Loading Comments...