The European Union Plans to Ban Single-Use Plastic Products


A new ban has been proposed by the European Commission, aiming to reduce 70% of the garbage in the EU’s waters or beaches. They want to ban ten products which are single-use plastics: coffee cups, cutlery, cotton buds, plates, straws, and stirrers.

CNN has reported that the European economy has a broad plan to shift its economy away from single-use products:

“The legislation is not just about banning plastic products. It also wants to make plastic producers bear the cost of waste management and cleanup efforts, and it proposes that EU states must collect 90% of single-use plastic bottles by 2025 through new recycling programs.”

Cleaning the Environment And Getting New Jobs

The report also explains that even it will cost businesses a lot of money, it will have a good impact on jobs and reduce other costs or environmental damage:

“The European Commission estimates that these rules, once fully implemented in 2030, could cost businesses over €3 billion ($3.5 billion) per year.”

However, the report also adds that consumers will save almost €6.5 billion ($7.6 billion) per year. Moreover, the ban will create “30,000 jobs, and avoid €22 billion ($25.6 billion) in environmental damage and cleanup costs.”

Looking at how recycling goes globally, only 14% of the plastic in the garbage is collected for reuse, compared to paper – 58% or iron and steel – 90%. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is full of plastics, reaching over 87,000 tons of waste, killing the marine wildlife.

Banning these items in the EU doesn’t mean that consumers will not have those products anymore. They will have them, but they will be replaced with others that are created from an environmentally friendly material. Even if the UK is scheduled to leave the EU when the ban begins (May 2019), it also considers adding this rule.

EU vice president Frans Timmermans explains that:

“Today’s proposals will reduce single-use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures. We will ban some of these items, and substitute them with cleaner alternatives so people can still use their favourite products.”


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