Plastic: the only solution is ban. EU ‘single-use’ Directive is set to reduce environmental damage in Europe

Brussels – The ten single-use plastic items most commonly found on European beaches are now banned. These items represent 86% of all single-use plastic found on beaches, and about half of all plastic marine litter. The new Directive includes a ban on straws, cotton swabs made from plastic, plastic plates and cutlery, plastic coffee stirrers and plastic balloon holders. Beverage bottles and other plastic mono-use will have to be collected separately at a rate of 90% by 2029 (77% by 2025).

According to the new legislation, EU member states must reduce the consumption of plastic food containers and cups used for beverages, over the next six years.

A relevant part of the new legislation will make producers directly responsible for pollution related to tobacco products with filters, wet wipes, balloons and fishing gear. 

In addition to the ban, the Directive introduces measures to reduce consumption of food containers and beverage cups made of plastic and specific marking and labelling of certain products, the introduction of design requirements to connect caps to bottles, as well as target to incorporate 25% of recycled plastic in PET bottles as from 2025 and 30% in all plastic bottles as from 2030.

The Directive aims to avoid the emission of 3.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent; avoid environmental damages which would cost the equivalent of €22 billion by 2030; save consumers a projected €6.5 billion.

Alarming figures:

Every year 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans.

At least 100.000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and the figure refers to the ones found only.

The costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe is estimated at €22 billion by 2030.