Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws, and cotton buds, will be banned in the EU under plans provisionally agreed between European Parliament and Council negotiators on December 19, 2018.
Citizens expected only one thing from the European Union, that it adopts an ambitious directive against disposable plastics responsible for asphyxiation of the seas and oceans. This is done with our agreement closed at 6:30 this morning. It will reduce the environmental damage bill by EUR 22 billion – the estimated cost of plastic pollution in Europe until 2030. Europe now has a legislative model to defend and promote at the international level, given the global nature of the issue of marine pollution involving plastics. This is essential for the planet and this is what millions of concerned Europeans are asking us to do, said lead MEP Frédérique Ries (ALDE, BE).
Under the provisional agreement, the following single-use products will be banned in the EU:
- Plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks)
- Plastic plates
- Plastic straws
- Cotton bud sticks made of plastic
- Plastic balloon sticks
- Oxodegradable plastics and food containers and expanded polystyrene cups
The provisional agreement also provides for:
- A reinforced application of the polluter pays principle (PPP), in particular for tobacco, through the introduction of extended producer responsibility (EPR)
- An EPR regime for fishing gear to ensure that manufacturers, and not fishermen, bear the costs of collecting nets lost in the sea
- A 90 percent collection target for plastic bottles by 2029
- A 25 percent target for recycled content in plastic bottles by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030
- Mandatory labelling on the negative environmental impact of cigarettes with plastic filters thrown in the street, as well as for other products such as plastic cups, wet wipes, and sanitary napkins