Plastic forks, straws and cotton buds could be outlawed across Europe


The Rethink Plastic Alliance - an association of environmental organizations - called the proposals "a leap forward in tackling plastic pollution" but criticized some perceived shortcomings.

According to the Commission, its proposal-now open for consultation-would have major economic and environmental benefits. Gove's idea is to ban plastic straws and cotton swabs. Additionally, as the legislation progresses, lobbying pressure from plastics manufacturers will grow.

His fellow vice-president Jyrki Katainen who is responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness said plastics make up 85 per cent of marine litter and are present in the air, water and food having "an unknown impact" on people's health. "Our collection target for plastic bottles will also help to generate the necessary volumes for a thriving plastic recycling industry". "They can do so by setting national reduction targets, making alternative products available at the point of sale, or ensuring that single-use plastic products cannot be provided free of charge", suggests the EC proposal.

The European Commission is committed to reducing single use plastic, is indicated by a message.

Vancouver is set to become the first major Canadian city to ban single-use plastic straws, polystyrene cups, and take-out containers.

The proposal, which is created to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, and in particular the marine environment, sets a number of different policy measures to tackle these problematic single-use products, from bans and reduction efforts, to labelling and extended producer responsibility schemes [2].

In what may very well prove to be a revolutionary new measure, the European Commission is planning to ban single-use plastic items such as straws, cutlery, drink stirrers, and plates.

The selection of plastic items to be reduced is based on a representative sample covering 276 beaches in 17 European Union member states and four regional seas during 2016.

Each country will also have to embark on an education campaign in which food producers are required to label products clearly and inform consumers how plastic waste is disposed.

- Extended producer responsibility schemes to be established for fishing gear containing plastic.

The plan needs to be approved by the 28 member states and the European Parliament before it can be passed as law. EU Commission officials urged for institutions to "deliver tangible results" before EU elections in twelve month's time.