European lawmakers may soon vote on a motion that could potentially ban all single-use plastic items by 2021 under draft plans placed before the European Parliament.
Single-use plastics, such as plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds, make up over 70% of the world’s marine litter.
Under the draft laws, the production of several other items, for which no alternative exists, will have to be reduced by member states by at least 25% by 2025.
The draft laws would also ban products made of oxo-degradable plastics, including bags and packaging made of expanded polystyrene.
“We have adopted the most ambitious legislation against single-use plastics. It is up to us now to stay the course in the upcoming negotiations with the Council, due to start as early as November,” Member of the European Parliament Frédérique Ries said.
“Today’s vote paves the way to a forthcoming and ambitious directive. It is essential in order to protect the marine environment and reduce the costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe, estimated at 22 billion euros by 2030.”