Can I recycle sandwich boxes?
The bvse informs medium-sized businesses about waste, secondary raw materials, recycling and disposal.
Certain disposable plastic products are to be banned
On Wednesday, the EU Parliament voted for a ban on the sale of single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws, holding sticks for balloons or plastic cotton swabs.
These products make up over 70% of marine litter and are expected to be withdrawn from the EU market by 2021. This is what the measures adopted by Parliament today provide for.
MEPs have added products made from oxo-degradable materials such as bags or packaging and fast-food containers made from expanded polystyrene to the list of prohibited products.
National reduction targets for other non-banned plastics
The consumption of several other items for which there is no alternative must be reduced by at least 25% by the Member States by 2025. These include disposable burger boxes, sandwich boxes or food containers for fruit, vegetables, desserts or ice cream. Member States should encourage the use of products which can be reused and, when they become waste, can be prepared for reuse and recycling. To this end, they should develop plans at the national level.
Cigarette filters and lost fishing gear
The draft law also provides for reduction measures for waste from tobacco products, in particular for cigarette filters containing plastic. They are to be reduced by 50 percent by 2025 and by 80 percent by 2030.
A cigarette butt can contaminate between 500 and 1000 liters of water. Thrown on the street, it can take up to twelve years to crumble. Cigarette butts are the second most common discarded single-use plastic item.
EU member states should also ensure that at least 50 percent of lost or discarded plastic fishing gear is collected annually, with a recycling target of at least 15 percent by 2025. Fishing gear makes up 27 percent of the waste generated on European beaches.
Hold manufacturers accountable
According to the draft law, the EU member states must ensure that tobacco companies bear the costs of collecting these products. This also includes the transport and treatment of the waste. The same applies to manufacturers of fishing gear containing plastic. They too must contribute to achieving the recycling target.
Rapporteur Frédérique Ries (ALDE, BE): “We have passed the most ambitious laws against single-use plastics. It is now up to us to stay on course in the upcoming negotiations with the Council, which are due to start as early as November. Today's vote paves the way for an ambitious directive. It is essential to protect the marine environment and reduce the cost of environmental damage caused by plastic pollution in Europe, estimated at 22 billion euros by 2030. "
the next steps
The report was adopted by 571 votes to 53, with 34 abstentions. Parliament will start negotiations on the final version of the law with the Council once EU ministers have adopted their own position on the matter.
According to the European Commission, more than 80 percent of the waste in the oceans consists of plastic. Because plastic is slow to decompose, more and more of it is accumulating in the seas and on beaches in the EU and around the world. Plastic residues can also be found in animals that live in the sea - for example in sea turtles, seals, whales and birds, but also in fish and mussels, and thus in the human food chain.
Plastics are a practical and economically valuable material. But they need to be better used, reused and recycled. If plastic is simply thrown away, the economic consequences include not only the lost material value, but also the cost of cleaning and damage to tourism, fishing and shipping.
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