Single-use plastic items including cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws and drink stirrers are set to be banned in the EU, after politicians reached an agreement today.
Measures such as labelling and clean-up requirements will also be put in place to limit the use of other plastic products for which there are no readily available alternatives, such as food trays.
“This agreement truly helps protect our people and our planet,” said Frans Timmermans, a vice-president of the EU’s implementing body, the European Commission.
“Europeans are conscious that plastic waste is an enormous problem and the EU as a whole has shown true courage in addressing it, making us the global leader in tackling plastic marine litter.”
As Danube reported back in October, the ban is due to come into force in 2021.
In addition to being good for the planet, the ban also represents opportunities for businesses, said Jyrki Katainen, another Commission vice-president.
He said: “Europe is doing [sic] a smart economic and environmental choice and is advancing towards a new truly circular plastics economy.”