European Parliament adopts new rules banning items such as plastic forks, knives, spoons, plates, straws and cotton buds from the market.
"We needed to do something to reduce plastic litter in our environment. There is enough plastic waste in our seas to fill an area as big as Central Europe", said Karl-Heinz Florenz MEP, EPP Group Spokesman, warmly welcoming the vote in the European Parliament.
“Nevertheless, we also have to see a valuable resource in plastic waste. Replacing disposable plastic with innovative alternatives and reusable products would not just be good for the planet but it would also be an economic opportunity", recalled Florenz, explaining that about 95 percent of the value of plastic is lost, which amounts to between €70 to €105 billion per year.
"Europe needs to take this opportunity and lead. We have to be innovative and make new materials available and change the way we produce and consume plastic. Look at take-away coffee cups: currently, they all contain a thin plastic lining. This will change, innovation is on its way. This conduct creates jobs. It enables growth", said Florenz.
The new measures include specifically a ban on plastic forks, knives, spoons, plates, straws, cotton buds, balloon sticks, oxo-degradable plastic and food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, because good alternatives exist. Member States must reduce the amount of drinking cups and food packaging containing plastics by 2026. Plastic bottles must be collected and recycled, 77 percent of which by 2025 and 90 percent in 2029 and they must contain a minimum recycled content of 25 percent by 2025 for PET bottles and 30 percent by 2030 for all plastic bottles.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States