Plastic disposable items such as plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds, which determined over 70 percent of marine waste will be banned in the EU from 2021, according to a resolution adopted on 10th October by the EP environmental protection commission.
- According to the European Commission, over 80 percent marine waste is plastics.
- Due to the slow decomposition of plastics, they accumulate in seas, oceans and beaches in the EU and around the world.
- Plastic residues are found in animal organisms - including turtles, seals, whales, birds, fish and crustaceans - and therefore, as the Commission informs, they are also part of the human food chain.
The draft of resolution was adopted with 51 votes in favor, 10 against and 3 abstentions. Members also included plastic lightweight bags, stirrers for drinks and fast food containers on the list of banned products.
The use of parts of other products for which there is no alternative will have to be limited by Member States by 2025. This includes containers for sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, desserts or ice cream.
Member States are going to create a national plans to answer the question how to encourage to use of reusable products and those that can be recycled.
Members also supported restrictions on tobacco waste, in particular cigarette filters containing plastic. Their use is to be limited by 50 percent. by 2025 and 80 percent until 2030.
European legislators have reached agreement on a ban on the use of disposable plastic products. Agreement still has to be confirmed by the Member States and the Union parliament. The aim is to make the EU a global leader in the use of alternative products that will avoid sea pollution.
Why is the fight with plastic so serious?
In May, the European Commission proposed European legislation to eliminate disposable plastic products for which alternative plastics are readily available. The same Commission proposed th measures to restrain the use of items such as plastic take-out containers.
The Commission then argued that 80 percent of marine waste is plastics. It was also found that only less than one-third of this type of waste is collected and recycled. Most of the remaining waste goes to the seas and oceans.
Plastics are a special problem for the oceans in the world. Traces of plastic can be found in species such as whales, turtles and birds, as well as seafood that end up in the human food chain. And it can be easily detected in the human digestive tract and feces.