Sustainability: EU wants to ban disposable plastic dishes

Plastic stalks, plates or sticks should disappear from the market if they can be replaced in an environmentally friendly manner. The European Commission wants to tackle the problem of rubbish.

Sustainability: EU wants to ban disposable plastic dishes

If commission of European Union (EU) is in future, re will be no more plastic disposable utensils. With a ban on many disposable plastic products and a recycling quota for plastic bottles, Brussels authority wants to reduce mainly waste problem in seas, because a large part of plastic waste from industrialized countries ends re.

According to Commission, 80 per cent of waste in world's seas is made of plastic – that is, material that can only be decomposed very slowly and later be returned to food cycle in form of micro particles. In EU alone, according to EU Commission, 26 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced each year, of which less than 30 percent are collected for recycling. As early as January, she refore demanded in a strategy that she had written that all plastics should be recyclable by 2030.

The Vice-President of EU Commission, Frans Timmermans, has now presented a package of measures which includes a ban on, among or things, plastic utensils and cutlery, straws, brackets for balloons and chopsticks for stirring drinks. In addition, Member States should have requirement to recycle up to 2025 disposable plastic bottles to 90 percent. That is an achievable goal, said Timmermans. The example here is disposable deposit as it was introduced in 2003 in Germany.

Fasten beverage cover to packaging

The ban should only apply to products that can be manufactured easily and cost-effectively from or materials, said vice president. For all ors – such as containers for drinks and food to take away – EU authority wants to formulate reduction targets as shown in strategy.

They fall under category of products that should not be banned, but should be pushed back, besides packaging for fast food also rubber balloons, beverage packaging and lids. The latter should be designed in future so that y are attached to disposable bottles or drinking cups. Manufacturers of or plastic products such as chips bags or cigarette filters should pay for information campaigns. In addition, products such as balloons are to be provided with conspicuous warning signs that inform consumers about environmental risks and proper disposal.

Plastic garbage-how it can go with less plastic European Commission wants to ban stirring sticks, straws and balloon holders. There are alternatives, but y are not always favorable. © Photo: Bart Biesemans

In principle, Commission wants to improve sustainability of disposable products, as Timmermans said. He called on Member States to act toger to address problem. "This is a race to summit," he said. The best ideas should be implemented. Timmermans also tried to take fear of restrictions on citizens. "You can continue to organize picnics," he told his listeners.

Alternative materials already available

Plastic straws are symbol of unnecessary disposable consumption for environmentalists worldwide. There is no reliable data, but Brussels-based Environmental protection organization seas at risk estimates annual consumption in 28 EU countries on basis of trade and waste statistics on 36.4 billion straws. Therefore, each of approximately 512 million EU citizens uses thus 71 pieces per year.

Consumers can already dodge alternative materials today. So re are compostable cups and cutlery made of wood and or compostable materials. In addition, manufacturers are working on alternatives for perhaps once banned products, also for drinking straws. For example, in April Tetra Pak announced changeover to paper trinkhalme by end of year – it is about tubes for juice or milk packs with which contents can be sucked out. The world-wide comparison shows that EU has to catch up on subject of plastic waste. Rwanda is already on way.

The first reactions from economy to EU plan are positive. The proposed directive, however, is initially only a proposal. In order for it to take effect, EU directive must now be adopted by EU Parliament and European Council.

Date Of Update: 29 May 2018, 12:02

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