The EU takes steps toward plastic-free future

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plastic pollution uk

The EU are making their first steps to a plastic-free future by MEP's backing the ban of the supply of single-use, or throwaway, plastics by 2021. The EU countries add themselves to the governments who are already on the list to ban single-use plastics.

In October 2018, the vote on the complete ban of 10 single-use plastic ending in a landslide of 571 to 53 in favour of the ban.

Quotes regarding the amount of plastics in our oceans that could rise to the ratio of fish to pieces of plastic to be equal by 2050, which we find actually heart breaking that our children may not be able to see the beautiful sites we've seen in the world.

ocean pollution uk

This potentially could be off the back of David Attenborough's Blue Planet 2 where 88% of watcher's were said to have changed their habits and consumer buying in regards to plastics. The documentaries show the harsh realities that some of the world's more beautiful and endangered animals and marine life have to live in. Plastic being one of the main causes of death in so many marine animals and sea birds. In some area's of the world, plastics were found inside 70% of animals found dead.

 The new rules in place by The EU will be as follows:

"Concretely, the new rules will introduce:

  • Plastic ban in certain products: Where alternatives are readily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market. The ban will apply to plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and sticks for balloons which will all have to be made exclusively from more sustainable materials instead. Single-use drinks containers made with plastic will only be allowed on the market if their caps and lids remain attached;
  • Consumption reduction targets: Member States will have to reduce the use of plastic food containers and drinks cups. 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;
  • Obligations for producers: Producers will help cover the costs of waste management and clean-up, as well as awareness raising measures for food containers, packets and wrappers (such as for crisps and sweets), drinks containers and cups, tobacco products with filters (such as cigarette butts), wet wipes, balloons, and lightweight plastic bags. The industry will also be given incentives to develop less polluting alternatives for these products;
  • Collection targets: Member States will be obliged to collect 90% of single-use plastic drinks bottles by 2025, for example through deposit refund schemes;
  • 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. This will apply to sanitary towels, wet wipes and balloons;
  • Awareness-raising measures: Member States will be obliged to raise consumers' awareness about the negative impact of littering of single-use plastics and fishing gear as well as about the available re-use systems and waste management options for all these products."

This extract was taken by European Commission

The most thought provoking quote of the year we thought was by Karmenu Vella, the EU's commissioner for environment.

"When we have a situation where one year you can bring your fish home in a plastic bag, and the next year you are bringing that bag home in a fish, we have to work hard and work fast."


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