Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021

Plastic Oceans 2018

UN Photo/Martine Perret Plastic bottles and garbage waste from a nearby village wash on the shores of a river and then spill into the sea.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery or cotton buds, making up over 70% of marine litter, will be banned under plans backed in the Environment Committee.

Single-use plastic products such as cutlery, cotton bud sticks, plates, straws, beverage stirrers and balloon sticks will be banned from the EU market from 2021, under draft plans approved on Wednesday by the Environment and Public Health Committee.

In the report drafted by Frédérique Ries (ALDE, BE), adopted with 51 votes to 10, with 3 abstentions, MEPs added to this list: very lightweight plastic bags, products made of oxo-degradable plastics and fast-food containers made of expanded polystyrene.

National reduction targets

The consumption of several other items, for which no alternative exists, will have to be reduced by member states in an “ambitious and sustained” manner by 2025. This includes single-use burger boxes, sandwich boxes or food containers for fruits, vegetables, desserts or ice creams. Member states will draft national plans to encourage the use of products suitable for multiple use, as well as re-using and recycling.

Other plastics, such as beverage bottles, will have to be collected separately and recycled at a rate of 90% by 2025.

Cigarette butts and lost fishing gear

MEPs agreed that reduction measures should also cover waste from tobacco products, in particular cigarette filters containing plastic. It would have to be reduced by 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2030.

One cigarette butt can pollute between 500 and 1000 litres of water, and thrown on the roadway, it can take up to twelve years to disintegrate. They are the second most littered single-use plastic items.

Member states should also ensure that at least 50% of lost or abandoned fishing gear containing plastic is collected per year, with a recycling target of at least 15% by 2025. Fishing gear represents 27% of waste found on Europe’s beaches.

Extended producer responsibility

Member states would have to ensure that tobacco companies cover the costs of waste collection for those products, including transport, treatment and litter collection. The same goes for producers of fishing gear containing plastic, who will need to contribute to meeting the recycling target.

Quote

Frédérique Ries (ALDE, BE), rapporteur, said: “Europe is only responsible for a small part of the plastic polluting our oceans. It can and should, however, be a key player in finding a solution, leading at a global level, as it has done in the past in the fight against climate change. Prohibit, reduce, tax, but also replace, warn; the member states have many options to choose from. It is up to them to choose wisely and up to us to keep pushing for more. “

Next steps

The report will be put to a vote by the full House during its 22-25 October plenary session in Strasbourg.

Background

According to the European Commission, more than 80% of marine litter is plastics. Together they constitute 70% of all marine litter items. Due to its slow decomposition, plastic accumulates in seas, oceans and on beaches in the EU and worldwide. Plastic residue is found in marine species – such as sea turtles, seals, whales and birds, but also in fish and shellfish, and therefore in the human food chain.

While plastics are a convenient, adaptable, useful and economically valuable material, they need to be better used, re-used and recycled. When littered, the economic impact of plastics encompasses not just the lost economic value in the material, but also the costs of cleaning up and losses for tourism, fisheries and shipping.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

How will Brexit affect higher education in the EU?

Trade defence report: restoring the level playing field for European producers

International Literacy Day: What you need to know about youth literacy

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

This young activist explains how to change the world in 3 steps

Dignified health for all who live here

These Harvard scientists think we’ll have to socially distance until 2022

Are we letting politicians play with migrants’ health?

Collaboration and connectivity at ITU Telecom World 2019

The vegan economy is booming – and Big Food wants a slice of it

Central African Republic: Guterres says UN mission committed to protecting civilians, helping stabilize country, as violence flares

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

Anti-vaccination: a private choice leading to collective outcomes

Lies and reality about incomes and wealth in the EU

5 ways Denmark is preparing for the future of work

Endocrine disruptors: A strategy for the future that protects EU citizens and the environment

Protect women’s rights ‘before, during and after conflict’ UN chief tells high-level Security Council debate

In Yemen, Special Envoy sees UN role in preserving ‘essential’ aid pipeline at country’s major port

Humanitarian aid: EU mobilises over €18 million for the Central African Republic in 2019

Making Artificial Intelligence ethical, safe and innovative

North-east Nigeria displacement crisis continues amid ‘increased sophistication’ of attackers, warns UN

The EU invites the US and Russia to partition Ukraine

Algeria must stop arbitrary expulsion of West African migrants in desert: UN migration rights expert

Pandemic and quarantine: What can we do for our mental health?

MEPs list conditions for new EU-Azerbaijan deal

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

We can save our ocean in three steps – if we act now

EU’s Finance Ministers draft plan to raise tax bills of online giants like Google and Amazon

‘Critical moment’ for sustainable development, UN chief tells major financing forum

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

New technologies, artificial intelligence aid fight against global terrorism

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

The COVID-19 recovery can be the vaccine for climate change

The importance of collaboration in the digital economy

Political solution ‘long overdue’ to protect the children of eastern Ukraine

Samoa measles outbreak claims 70 lives, majority are children under five

Survivors of ISIL terror in Iraq want justice, not revenge, says head of UN investigation team

Joint Statement on European Immunization Week 2021: Celebrating the past, present and future benefits of vaccines

‘Ghost fishing’ is threatening our oceans. Here’s how we can tackle it

A good night’s sleep ‘washes’ your brain, scientists say

“Cyber security is a shared responsibility: stop, think, connect”, a Sting Exclusive by EU Commissioner Gabriel

Sanity in times of COVID-19

Syria: At least seven children killed in yet another airstrike

Why exporters need to mind the trade finance gap

Pervasive corruption costs $2.6 trillion; disproportionately affects ‘poor and vulnerable’ says UN chief

On flight to sustainable development, ‘leave no country behind’, urges aviation agency

EU Ambassadors in the EP: a multilateral approach to global challenges needed

Why cybersecurity should be standard due diligence for investors

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

The horrific trend of the anti-vaccine movement in Turkey

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

These are the world’s most fragile states in 2019

270 million people are migrants, who send home a staggering $689 billion

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

Aid funding for Occupied Palestinian Territories at ‘all-time low’

How the digital economy is shaping a new Bangladesh

The world is getting angrier, according to a new poll

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s