Ban on Single-Use Plastics, Training for Plastic Manufacturers

IN THE EUROPEAN UNION, A RESOLUTION TO BAN SINGLE-USE PLASTICS IS ON THE AGENDA.  THE AIM OF THE RESOLUTION IS TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT, ESPECIALLY THE OCEANS AND MARINE LIFE.

The resolution intends to pull all single-use plastics from the shelves, including such everyday staples as disposable cutlery or plastic cotton buds etc. Furthermore, the resolution also requires all plastic bottles to be collected by 2025.

The resolution has not made it to the implementation phase yet. EU rules and procedures require that it is approved by 28 EU member states and the European Parliament before it can be adopted.

According to the European Commission’s statement, plastics make up 85% of the litter found on European beaches and half of them are disposable plastics. In the Commission’s report, it is said that European policies on water, sea, waste, crops and fisheries have so far been left to the discretion of the member states. This prevents the issue of marine litter from being handled in a holistic and adequate way. The resolution not only reduces the amount of marine litter, but also guarantees a common market for businesses. While encouraging innovation, the proposed measures will contribute to Europe’s transition towards a Circular Economy as well. They will also avoid the emission of 3.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent; avoid environmental damages which would cost the equivalent of €22 billion by 2030; and save consumers a projected €6.5 billion.

The proposed ban specifically includes plastic food containers, packets and wrappers as well as disposable cutlery, cups and plates utilized by fast-food companies.

If the bill is approved, EU member states will have to remove disposable plastic products almost completely from their everyday lives. Consumers will be able to see on the labels how much plastic waste the product they buy is causing.

Training programs will be organized to encourage plastics manufacturers to use sustainable materials and some manufacturers will be asked to provide a financial contribution to clean plastic waste.

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