Plastic cutlery and other single-use plastics to be banned by EU

Plastic cutlery has come under fire from the EU and it looks like the production and use of them may be outlawed altogether.

Single use plastics, including cutlery, straws and cotton buds could all be phased out in an attempt to curb plastic pollution, which is out of control. In total, 10 items are on the list of proposedly banned items. It is also reported that these items make up ‘70% of all litter in EU waters and on beaches’.

CNN Reported:

The draft rules were unveiled Monday but need the approval of all EU member states and the European Parliament. It could take three or four years for the rules to come into force.

The legislation is not just about banning plastic products. It also wants to make plastic producers bear the cost of waste management and cleanup efforts, and it proposes that EU states must collect 90% of single-use plastic bottles by 2025 through new recycling programs.

The European Commission estimates that these rules, once fully implemented in 2030, could cost businesses over €3 billion ($3.5 billion) per year. But they could also save consumers about €6.5 billion ($7.6 billion) per year, create 30,000 jobs, and avoid €22 billion ($25.6 billion) in environmental damage and cleanup costs.’

It was added in the CNN report that:

‘On a global basis, only 14% of plastic is collected for recycling. The reuse rate is terrible compared to other materials — 58% of paper and up to 90% of iron and steel gets recycled.’

National Geographic estimate that even less plastic actually gets recycled, putting their percentage in single figures.

‘Research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world’s oceans by 2050, which has spurred policy makers, individuals and companies into action.

Last month a group of more than 40 companies including Coca-Cola (KO), Nestle (NSRGF), Unilever (UL) and Procter & Gamble (PGpledged to slash the amount of plastic they use and throw away in the United Kingdom.

Starbucks (SBUX) also announced in March it was launching a $10 million grant challenge to solicit designs for a cup that’s easier to recycle.’

Colin J McCracken
Colin J McCracken

Director and Executive Editor

Colin J McCracken is an Irish editor and writer of both fiction and journalism. Coming from a background in education and film, his passions are split between the environmental and the entertaining. Constantly striving for a more sustainable existence and trying to balance it while simultaneously buying too many books.