The Austrian Presidency confirmed on December 19 that EU lawmakers have reached an agreement on a ban that would prohibit the use of products such as straws, plastic plates, cutlery, and cotton buds.
The European Parliament and EU Member States have yet to approve the new regulation. If approved, the ban should come into effect within the next two years.
The European Commission’s proposals, which were submitted in May, also include measures to limit the consumption of products that do not have an obvious or affordable alternative to plastic.
Succumbing to consumer pressure, companies relying on plastic packaging, such as potato chips manufacturers, are now planning to offer recyclable, compostable or biodegradable alternatives.
Roughly 90,5% of global plastic waste has never been recycled, according to the British Royal Statistical Society, a fact that is particularly devastating for marine ecosystems. According to the EU Commission, 80% of sea waste is made up of plastic materials.
In May, the European Commission proposed a series of measures to curb plastic consumption over and beyond single-use plastics. The individual members of the European Union should be able to collect and recycle 90% of plastic bottles by 2025.
Additional proposals include passing part of the cost for environmental cleanup to manufacturing companies for products such as cigarettes, plastic bags, candy, and sanitary products.