Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

The EU are going to ban plastic disposable tableware

EU Vice President Frans Timmermans said that utensils would not be banned completely, but steps would be taken to have them made out of sustainable materials when possible.

The European Commission has proposed a ban on 10 plastic items that make up around 70 percent of all litter found in Europe's waters and on the beaches.

If it is approved, member states will need to make an active effort to reduce the number of single-use plastic food containers and cups available for sale in supermarkets. In a press statement, the Commission says these rules will put Europe "ahead of the curve on an issue with global implications", most likely pointing at China's scrap import policies.

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The EU has announced a crackdown on single use plastics in a bid to reduce pollution in seas which is harmful to the marine environment and potentially damaging to human health.

According to the proposal, the Commission picked a medium-high impact approach aimed at reducing litter in the oceans by helping to change consumer behaviour. By setting up re-use systems (such as deposit refund schemes), companies can ensure a stable supply of high quality material. Underneath the proposed measures, every nation must conduct awareness-raising academic campaigns in regards to the disposal of "tobacco product filters", and producers must share the prices of waste administration.

While current plastic solutions would be banned, the European Union isn't looking to make everyone carry around their own reusable solutions - rather, items would be replaced with "readily available alternatives" made from environmentally-friendly materials such as bioplastics.

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Stakeholders from the plastics manufacturing trade and the fishing gear trade typically favored the European Fee's proposal and indicated that additional motion was needed, and even pressing.

Producers of fishing gear - which accounts for 27 percent of beach litter - will be required to cover the costs of waste collection in ports.

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A draft of the proposed rules features ten items which will be banned, pending the approval of all the European Parliament and all member states. In a plea to hasten the procedure, the Commission urged the other institutions "to treat this as a priority file, and to deliver tangible results for Europeans before the elections in May 2019".

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