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The European Parliament voted for the single-use plastic directive to be implemented in the next decade. Based on the researches, the European Commission defined the top 10 items most frequently found on the beaches. They include cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, sticks for balloons as well as cups, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene and on all products made of oxo-degradable plastic.
There are four main measures that should be taken to fight against the environmental pollution:
- A ban on selected single-use products made of plastic for which alternatives exist in the market.
- Measures to reduce consumption of food containers and beverage cups made of plastic and specific labelling of certain products.
- Extended producer responsibility schemes covering the costs of cleaning up litter applied to such products as tobacco filters and fishing gear.
- A 90% separate collection target for plastic bottles by 2029 (77% by 2025) and the introduction of design requirements to connect caps to bottles as well as the target to incorporate 25% of recycled plastic into PET bottles as of 2025 and 30% in all the plastic bottles as of 2030.
‘Today we have taken an important step to reduce littering and plastic pollution in our oceans and seas. We got this, we can do this. Europe is setting new and ambitious standards, paving the way for the rest of the world,’ Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president responsible for sustainable development said.
This endorsement will be followed by the publication of the texts in the Official Journal of the Union. After that, the member states will have to integrate it into their national laws within two years.