What you need to know about this milestone move for the environmental movement in the EU:
- Much plastic waste is washed into the ocean, where it may take centuries to fully degrade. Lightweight single-use items are among the most problematic of plastics because they can easily travel long distances, absorbing toxins along the way that damage marine flora and fauna.
- The EU’s research on the topic says about 150,000 tonnes of plastic are tossed into European waters every year.
- Under the proposed directive, items such as plastic straws, cotton swabs, disposable plastic plates and cutlery would be banned by 2021, and 90% of plastic bottle recycled by 2025.
- The passing of the legislation is a clampdown on “the top 10 plastic products that most often end up in the ocean”, as described by the European Commission.
- The proposed legislation passed 571 votes to 53.
EU states still have to back the directive before the single-use plastic ban becomes law – if the Council approves the Parliament’s wording then the act is adopted – but commission sources said they were optimistic. Let’s hope this move towards an ocean less polluted with plastic will move swiftly!
Source: The Guardian