The European Parliament has voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastic products, including straws, plates and cutlery from the EU market in a bid to stop ocean pollution.
Under draft plans approved by the Environment and Public Health Committee, single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, cotton bud sticks, straws and beverage stirrers (all of which make up more than 70 per cent of marine litter) are to be banned from the EU market from 2021.
Members of the European Parliament (MEP) also added lightweight plastic bags, products made of oxo-degradable plastics and fast-food containers made of expanded polystyrene to the list of items to be banned.
Belgian politician and MEP responsible for the bill, Frédérique Ries said Europe can and show be a key player in the fight against climate change.
“Europe is only responsible for a small part of the plastic polluting our oceans,” she said. “It can and should, however, be a key player in finding a solution, leading at a global level, as it has done in the past in the fight against climate change.
“Prohibit, reduce, tax, but also replace, warn; the member states have many options to choose from. It is up to them to choose wisely and up to us to keep pushing for more.”