published on 20 December 2018 in energy

EU agreement on single-use plastic: these are the banned products

Agreement has been reached, not without difficulty, between the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU Member States to ban a number of single-use plastic products most frequently found littering the sea. It must be remembered that over 80% of marine litter is made up of plastic materials and that, according to estimates, around 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the sea. The new EU directive on single-use plastic provides that, from 2021, disposable plastic cutlery and plates, drinking straws, food containers and polystyrene cups (like those used in fast food restaurants), and cotton bud sticks for personal hygiene made with plastic will be banned. For other products there will be reduction targets. Regarding PET beverage bottles, for example, the directive sets a mandatory target of at least 25% of recycled plastic from 2025 onwards, calculated as an average for each Member State. In 2030, all plastic bottles will have to meet a target of at least 30% recycled content.
The WWF states that Italy already banned the use of plastic shoppers from 1st January 2011, from the beginning of 2018 banned the use of plastic bags for food, from 1st January 2019 will ban the use of plastic cotton bud sticks and from 1st January 2020 the use of microplastics in cosmetics, ahead of some provisions of the directive.
This new agreement opens up the way to a new model of circular economy that is more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

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