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 Milestone

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

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Pakistan

Mental health in times of pandemic: what can each individual do to lessen the burden?

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

Obese people more likely to smoke, says new gene research: WHO

EU Directive makes haircut on uncovered deposits a standard in bank bail-ins

How India is solving its cooling challenge

How to maintain mental health in times of pandemic

Nearly two million Cameroonians face humanitarian emergency: UNICEF

Privatization and public health: a question of Human Rights

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

Why the fight against nature loss should be a business priority

Amazon, a pair of shoes and my Data Privacy walks away

Coronavirus: EU global response to fight the pandemic

The three US financial war fleets

Tackling youth unemployment through the eyes of a European entrepreneur

To reinvent the future, we must all work together

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

Sweden is fighting loneliness by housing older and younger generations together

Ambition, transformation, active citizenship: COP24 looks to next year’s big UN Climate Change Summit

Breaking news on European Youth Employment: European Youth Forum Guide tackles poor quality internships!

Senior UN officials call for return to sea rescues, after ‘the worst Mediterranean tragedy of this year’

UN chief outlines solutions to defeat ‘four horsemen’ threatening our global future

COVID-19: Mental balance in pandemic times

Tax revenues have reached a plateau

When is necessary understand the cultural marks in health-disease process

“The Belt and Road Initiative should be mutually beneficial for EU and China and every participating country”, Vice-President Papadimoulis of the European Parliament underscores from European Business Summit 2018

Single European Sky: for a more sustainable and resilient air traffic management

Antitrust: Commission imposes binding obligations on Gazprom to enable free flow of gas at competitive prices in Central and Eastern European gas markets

UN health agency identifies 5-year-old Congolese boy as first confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda

Nuclear testing has ‘disastrous consequences’ for people and planet, General Assembly told

Here’s how to find a job you really love

Youth and children in Europe set the new perspectives for the decades to come

COP24 addresses climate change displacement ahead of crunch migration meeting

The Indian case: health policies need to keep pace with public health literacy

Legendary Harlem Globetrotters slam-dunk at the UN, with message that brings families, nations together

Benefits of rural migration effect often overlooked, new UN report suggests

UN working with both sides, after hidden tunnels confirmed along Lebanon-Israel ‘Blue Line’

The MH17 tragedy to put a tombstone on Ukrainian civil war

Phone lines open between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and people are calling strangers

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) on the table of NATO Defense Ministers amid US concerns

Innovating together: connectivity that matters at ITU Telecom World 2019 – in association with The European Sting

Lithuania should find its own way in the EU

A money laundering case on Vatican Bank’s road to renovation

In the United States, there aren’t enough hours in the week to make rent

How the United States is falling in love with secondhand clothes

Altruism can be good for business, as these companies show

Is there a cure for corruption in Greece?

Environment and health at increasing risk from growing weight of ‘e-waste’

How digital entrepreneurs will help shape the world after the COVID-19 pandemic

How can newspapers survive? By measuring their social impact

Yemen agreement to end southern power struggle ‘important step’ towards peace: UN Special Envoy

Ukraine: Is there a political force able to undo the division?

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

EU will not deliver on promises without democratic accountability

EU and Japan select first Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programmes

Can Kiev make face to mounting economic problems and social unrest?

The end of Spitzenkandidat: EU leaders concluded unexpectedly on EU top jobs

Copyright: European Union , 2017; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Frank Molter

EU hits deadlock on the future of glyphosate a month before deadline

Could Europe become the first climate-neutral continent?

More Stings?

Advertising

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