EU proposes ban on plastic straws, cutlery
The draft rules would ban the 10 single-use plastic products said to make up 70 per cent of all marine litter, including plastic cotton swabs, plates, and swizzle sticks.
The European Union (EU) has unveiled a proposed ban on single-use plastic items like straws and cutlery in an attempt to limit plastic pollution.
Released on May 28, the draft rules would ban the 10 single-use plastic products said by the EU to make up 70 per cent of all marine litter, according to a news release. Plastic cotton swabs, plates, and swizzle sticks are also included in the ban.
“The new rules are proportionate and tailored to get the best results,” the statement said. “This means different measures will be applied to different products. Where alternatives are readily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market. For products without straight-forward alternatives, the focus is on limiting their use through a national reduction in consumption; design and labelling requirements and waste management/clean-up obligations for producers. Together, the new rules will put Europe ahead of the curve on an issue with global implications.”
The proposed rules will also require manufacturers of plastic products to help cover the cost of waste management and clean-up. Companies will also be given incentives to create alternatives for other plastic products like cups and plastic bags.
The measure would need to be approved by all EU member states and the European Parliament, and it could take three or four years for the rules to go into effect.
Bans on plastic items like straws have grown in popularity. Last month, the United Kingdom announced that it would begin banning plastic straws as soon as next year, making it the first country to adopt such a measure.
The EU’s press release about the proposed ban can be found here.
Last week, Vancouver City Council voted to ban the distribution of plastic straws as well as foam take-out containers and cups.