The European Union wants to significantly reduce the plastic mountain in and around the ocean and to do so there are EU rules in the making that can significantly change our day of beach and vacation within the EU. Ten plastic products together account for 70 percent of the mess in and around the sea and the EU wants to – if there are alternatives – simply ban. The EU actually wants to see results before the 2019 elections because it is a priority. The ten products that are involved are the following:
- cotton buds
- plastic cutlery
- sticks for balloons
- food bowls
- plastic cups
- drinking bottles
- cigarette butts
- plastic bags
- candy wraps
- hygienic wipes
the EU is also looking at fishing tackle, because there too much of it ends up in the seas. In order to urge the creators of that stuff not to use plastic anymore, the bill for the collection, transport and recycling of all that material ends up with the makers of those products.
Plastic waste is clearly a major problem within the market. EU and we have to solve that together, because all that waste ends up in our air, earth, oceans and ultimately in our food. We want to avoid these rules.
There are several measures that are considered for some of the problem cases in the list. Some plastic items are just going to be banned, such as the plastic swabs, cutlery, stirrers ( already solved! ) straws and sticks. They will have to be made of more durable material. Plastic cups may only be used if the lid is attached to it.
There are also limits on how many food containers (containers and beakers) may be used per Member State. There should be more alternatives available at points of sale and these containers and cups should no longer be provided free of charge. Plastic bottles are of course also a big problem for a long time and so 90 percent or more will have to be collected. How the Member States do that, they may know for themselves. The wet and other wipes get a much clearer warning label about the plastic that is in it and what to do with it when used.
A lot of work
Of course, there must also be better information, the labels are adjusted and the makers of all those products have to help with the cleaning up (read: pay) until they have found better alternatives. You can wait for the industry to complain about overly strict rules, but the EU sees it as an opportunity for entrepreneurs: if you now find a good alternative for all those products, you immediately have a very large market that would like that very much. wants to decrease.
Recycling can also be lifted to a higher level in this way, which in turn ensures a good flow of quality material for reuse. The EU also expects such measures to be expected on a global scale, so the sooner you are there, the more benefits you can get as a multinational. In the context of sustainability, this is of course fantastic and most people will agree that this is just a good initiative from the EU. We all waste too much and as the evidence for the plastic pollution of the seas accumulates (literally), the need for a change increases.