"Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem."
EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans
Last month the European Union – in an effort to protect marine life – proposed a ban on single use plastics.
Plastic straws, cutlery, drink stirrers, cotton buds and plastic sticks used on certain types of balloons are all to be under the chopping block.
"Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem," EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said.
"Today's proposals will reduce single-use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures.
"We will ban some of these items and substitute them with cleaner alternatives, so people can still use their favourite products."
The European Parliament and Council will review the proposal and can either amend or approve it before it goes into effect.
UK also proposing a ban
At the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in April, Prime Minister Theresa May outlined plans for a consultation to take place later in the year – preparing for a national ban on plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds.
Protecting our marine life was again cited as the reason for action.
“Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,” Theresa May said.
The plan will see Government work with industry and businesses to develop alternatives to the items and ensure there is sufficient time to adapt to any phase-out. Some uses of plastic straws could be exempt from the ban due to medical reasons.
The Doran Packaging View
It’s great politicians in the UK and beyond seem determined to address the issues raised so dramatically in shows such as the BBC’s Blue Planet documentary.
Also, many famous companies such as McDonald’s, Pizza Express and Wetherspoon’s and have signalled their intent to outlaw plastic straws too which is great.
As ever, we will keep a close eye on the proposals and keep you informed as the scheme moves forward.
Please contact us if you're confused about the various definitions surrounding packaging, or for an informal chat through our environmentally friendly product range and how it meets the various challenges out there.