An End to Single use Plastics in the European Union

The European Parliament plans to ban them in 2021

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The days are numbered on plastic plates, glasses, cutlery, straws and other single use plastic items in EU countries, since the European Parliament decided on 24 October to ban this type of plastic products by 2021.

The objectives also include reducing the consumption of these polluting products – for which there are currently no alternatives – by 25% in 2025. That would include single use plastic containers for fruit, desserts, ice cream, sandwiches or hamburgers. Along these lines, member states will need to design national plans to encourage the use of reusable materials, in addition to recycling.

Further goals set for 2025 are to ensure 90% of plastic beverage bottles are recycled; to reduce cigarette butts by 50% (and 80% by 2030), and recover half of the plastic fishing gear that has been lost or dumped in the sea.

According to data from the European Commission, more than 80% of marine waste is plastic and, of that, 70% is single-use products. In recent months, the alarm has been sounded regarding the risks for ocean conservation and human health, since fish ingest plastic microparticles which then enter into the food chain.

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