Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks or cotton buds, will be banned in the EU under plans adopted on 24 October 2018. These products, which make up over 70% of marine litter, will be banned from the EU market from 2021, under draft plans approved by Parliament. MEPs added to this list of plastics banned from the EU market from 2021: products made of oxo-degradable plastics, such as bags or packaging and fast-food containers made of expanded polystyrene.
National reduction targets for other non-banned plastics
The consumption of several other items, for which no alternative exists, will have to be reduced by member states by least 25% by 2025. This includes single-use burger boxes, sandwich boxes or food containers for fruits, vegetables, desserts or ice creams. Member states will draft national plans to encourage the use of products suitable for multiple use, as well as re-using and recycling.
Other plastics, such as beverage bottles, will have to be collected separately and recycled at a rate of 90% by 2025.
Making producers more accountable
Member states would have to ensure that tobacco companies cover the costs of waste collection for those products, including transport, treatment and litter collection. The same goes for producers of fishing gear containing plastic, who will need to contribute to meeting the recycling target.
The report was adopted with 571 votes to 53 and 34 abstentions. Parliament will enter into negotiations with Council when EU ministers will have set their own position on the file.