Today, the European Parliament has just voted to ban a whole range of plastic products which contribute to destructive and toxic pollution on land, rivers and seas. Now the European Parliament will take this ambitious text to negotiations ("trilogues") which begin on the 6th of November with the European Commission and Council, on the Single Use Plastic Directive.
The report adopted by the Parliament builds on the ambition of the Commission's proposals and even adds several items and materials to be banned or have stringent reduction targets. The text now proposes banning certain single use plastic items such as straws, plates, cutlery, and balloon sticks. It also introduces producer responsibility on food containers, tobacco products and wet wipes. The Parliament, following an amendment by Greens/EFA group, also proposes to ban oxo-plastic, which is often marketed as biodegradable, whereas in reality it fragments and turns into microplastic.
Margrete Auken, spokesperson on plastics for the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament comments:
"A tonne of plastic is dumped into our oceans every single minute, that's why this vote is vital for the future of our planet. This proposal is not a panacea but it's a start on the way to healing our planet from the pain of plastic pollution that we have caused over the last century.
"The Council and the Commission must now listen to the will of the European Parliament's vote, which received cross-party support, and make this text as ambitious as possible. The EU should show the world that it can lead the way in building a sustainable future free of single use plastic."