European Parliament votes to ban single-use plastics

The European Parliament has voted to ban problematic single-use plastic products across the EU in a bid to tackle plastic pollution.

The new Single-Use Plastic Directive, proposed by the European Commission (EC) last year and voted for by MEPs yesterday (27 March), will prevent the sale and use of 10 of the most polluting single-use plastic products on the EU market, including cotton bud sticks, cutlery, straws, stirrers and polystyrene containers, where alternatives exist.

EU member states will have until 2021 to transpose the Directive into national legislation following the final adoption by the European Council of Ministers.

Other measures included in the Directive include: extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes for abandoned fishing equipment; reducing the consumption of food containers and beverage cups made from plastic; a 90 per cent separate collection target for plastic bottles by 2029; and a target to incorporate 25 per cent recycled plastic in PET bottles from 2025 and 30 per cent in all plastic bottles from 2030. Oxo-degradable plastics will also be banned under the new directive.