European Union moves to ban single-use plastics

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The new rules are proportionate and tailored to get the best results.

The European Commission says that this effort is in order to move the economy away from using these types of products. It would ban single-use plastic items in cases where there are readily available, cheap alternatives made from more sustainable materials.

There would be no immediate bans on products for which "straight-forward alternatives" were not yet available. "Together, the new rules will put Europe ahead of the curve on an issue with global implications".

The European Commission plans to ban a number of plastic disposable products and to penalize member countries of the European Union of plastic waste that can not be recycled.

"Today's proposals will reduce single-use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures".

"Plastic product bans are not the solution", it said in a statement, and noted that "alternative products may not be more sustainable".

The backers of this legislation also recognize that the victor of this race will be a leader in supplying solutions to the rest of the globe as other countries come to realize that action must be taken to prevent plastics from strangling our oceans, and will be saving future generations money that would otherwise be spent on cleaning up the mess.

Across the world, plastics make up 85% of marine litter. According to an opinion poll, 72 % of Europeans have cut down on their use of plastic bags. Tackling the plastics problem is a must and it can bring new opportunities for innovation, competitiveness and job creation.

Assuming multi-year financial planning of the European Commission, this fee may be 80 cents per kilogram, which will go to the overall European budget, he said.

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].

Shocking research estimates that - at our current rate of waste and production - the ocean will contain more plastic than fish (on a weight ratio) by 2050.

In particular, the ban will affect disposable tableware, Cutlery, straws-straws for drinks, cotton swabs and plastic ties for balloons. The legislation would also push European Union member states to collect 90% of their plastic bottles by 2025, and move the burden of cost for cleanup and waste management efforts on to businesses that produce the plastic.

The introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes for waste fishing gear, cigarette butts, beverage containers including lids and caps, food containers, lightweight plastic bags, sanitary towels and wet wipes amongst others.

Labelling Requirements: Certain products will require a clear and standardised labelling which indicates how waste should be disposed, the negative environmental impact of the product, and the presence of plastics in the products.

Companies that produce plastic products might also be required to contribute to waste disposal costs - for example, getting the makers of plastic fishing gear to pay for the cost of collecting waste from a port.

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