European Parliament Votes to Ban Single-Use Plastics

The European Parliament approved a ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks and a reduction in the use of single-use plastic for food and drink containers like plastic cups. The ban, which still has several procedural hurdles to pass, would come into effect for all countries in the EU by 2021. The use of items which currently have no readily available substitute would then be required to be reduced by 25% in each country by 2025.

The European Parliament also approved an amendment which would require cigarette companies to reduce the amount of plastic used in cigarette filters by 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2030. The ruling also would require that 90% of all plastic drink bottles be recycled in all EU countries by 2025.