Bans like these truly feel like they're for the greater good, even if the change can be painful for businesses.
— Kristen Hawley
The European Union decided to ban plastic consumer items including plates, cutlery and straws as of 2021 to help clean up oceans.
The prohibition on single-use plastics approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday in Strasbourg, France, also applies to beverage cups, food containers and cotton bud sticks. EU governments have already signaled support for the ban, making their final approval due on April 15 a formality.
With plastics accounting for around 80 percent of marine litter, the EU rushed through deliberations on the planned restrictions in less than a year. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, proposed the curbs in May 2018 and representatives of EU governments and the 751-seat Parliament reached a negotiated deal in December.
“Plastics poison our seas,” said Frederique Ries, a Belgian member who steered the draft law through the 28-nation assembly. “If we do not take action, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.”
The new legislation also sets a 90 percent collection target for plastic bottles by 2029 and a 30 percent goal for recycled material in them by 2030.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.