Europe to ban straws, cutlery and other common throwaway plastics

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As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's worldwide broadcaster, the draft law will include a ban on the private use of disposable plastic products like straws, plastic plates, plastic utensils, plastic coffee stirrers, cotton swabs with plastic stems and plastic balloon holders.

The draft Single-Use Plastics Directive, announced on Monday (28 May), proposes measures covering a range of items which constitute the most common sources of marine litter in Europe, including 10 single-use plastic products.

Earlier it was reported that the EU does not intend to abandon the use of plastic, however, the European Commission (EC) aims to make plastic more recyclable, according to Twitter Vice-President of the EC Jyrki Katainen. But if they are, the European Commission said the measures are expected have a profound financial and environmental impact.

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The European Commission proposed on Tuesday increased spending of EU money on Italy and other southern member states hit by the economic and migrant crises, while reducing funds for regions in the bloc's former communist eastern countries. In other cases, the incentive to look for more sustainable solutions can give companies the technological lead over global competitors.

Vancouver is set to become the first major Canadian city to ban single-use plastic straws, polystyrene cups, and take-out containers.

FILE PHOTO: European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans arrives to address a news conference during a European Union's General Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium, February 27, 2018. Instead, the focus would be on limiting use through national measures. Currently, there are many bio alternatives such as bioplastics and wood or plant-based products but in some cases, they have had trouble competing with the low-priced mass production of plastic.

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The proposal also includes the reduction of plastic packaging in food like containers and cups by charging for their distribution. Single-use drinks containers made with plastic will only be allowed on the market if their caps and lids remain attached.

The Commission also said it would force producers to assist on covering the costs of waste management and clean-up, as well as awareness-raising measures for food containers, packets, and crisps packets and candies, drink containers and cups, cigarette butts, wet wipes, sanitary pads, balloons, and lightweight plastic bags. The Commission hopes that raising awareness in the fishing industry will help anglers and trawlers recover their equipment once it reaches the end of its life-cycle.

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