EU reaches agreement on ban on single-use plastics
In the early hours of December 19th, the European Parliament and the EU Member States reached agreement on a ban on single-use plastics.
Too many of the plastics we use end up as litter in our environment and ultimately in the sea. The majority of this waste is made up of single-use plastics. By introducing this new directive the EU aims to put a stop to pollution by single-use plastics. The agreement includes a range of measures, with the most prominent being:
• Banning various plastic items for which alternatives are already available, such as plastic cutlery, expanded polystyrene food containers and cups, drinking straws and cotton buds
• Expansion of the scope of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes, including the costs of waste collection and management and clean-up costs being paid by the producers, for example for items such as cigarette buds and fishing gear.
The passing of this directive is a true milestone in the battle against plastic pollution by single-use plastics and is a clear indicator of the momentum that has built up (in politics and elsewhere) to tackle this worldwide problem.
Adessium has since 2012 been supporting organizations that have played a decisive role in the introduction of this legislation, including Seas at Risk, Zero Waste Europe, Surfrider Foundation, EIA, ClientEarth, etc. Assisted by the funder collaborative Plastic Solutions Fund, these organizations joined forces in the ‘Rethink Plastic Alliance’. United in this alliance, they have been able to conduct a forceful campaign to show policy-makers that reducing single-use plastics is as least as important as improving recycling percentages.
We regard the passing of this legislation as an important step towards a pollution-free, circular plastics chain. It’s now up to the European Member States to be ambitious in their implementation of this directive, capitalizing on the leadership that the European Union has shown on this issue.