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European Union: Banning a variety of disposable plastic products, effective from July

European Union: Banning a variety of disposable plastic products, effective from July


From July 3 this year, the EU banned the use of disposable plastic products with non-plastic material substitutes, including disposable plastic dishes, tableware, straws, balloon sticks, etc. Sinkovicius, commissioner of the European Commission in charge of environmental, marine and fishery affairs, said that the banned disposable plastic products include not only polystyrene and other hard-to-degrade plastics, but also oxidized degradable plastics.

The ban implemented this time stems from a plastic restriction bill passed in May 2019. The bill stipulates that all EU countries should ban the sale of certain single-use plastic products before July 3, 2021, and manufacturers are also prohibited from continuing to produce such products, and stock products can continue to be put on the market.

The bill also stipulates that by 2029, the recycling rate of plastic bottles with an internal volume of less than 3 liters in member states should reach 90%. In addition, for disposable plastic products that are currently irreplaceable, the bill also requires manufacturers and users to bear economic responsibility for waste management and pollution control.

The owner of an ice cream shop in Brussels, Belgium recently told reporters that she has received a notice that one-time plastic spoons will no longer be used in the future, and the wooden spoons reserved in the store will arrive soon. “The store consumes hundreds of plastic scoops every day, which is indeed not environmentally friendly. Each plastic scoop is thrown away after a few minutes after one-time use, but the damage to the environment is permanent. I don’t support it anymore. The practice of using plastic spoons."

In supermarkets in Brussels, plastic disposable tableware, plastic balloon sticks, and plastic stick cotton swabs have been taken off the shelves, and there are more products that use paper materials instead of plastic packaging. A salesperson at a tableware counter in a supermarket told reporters that in summer, because people gather more, the sales of disposable tableware are very high. After the disposable plastic tableware is off the shelf, paper tableware, paper straws, etc. become popular.

In addition, the sales volume of reusable straws made of stainless steel is particularly good. In local restaurants, disposable plastic tableware has basically disappeared since last year, replaced by paper lunch boxes. A restaurant owner told reporters that for guests who bring their own lunch boxes, the store will give certain discounts when they check out.

Statistics show that the EU produces about 26 million tons of plastic waste each year, of which less than 30% is recycled. Most of the others are incinerated or dumped into landfills, or even into rivers and oceans, causing serious pollution to the environment.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said that the EU will monitor the implementation of the Plastic Limitation Act by member states and will provide guidance and assistance to member states when needed. The EU will review the bill in 2027. At that time, paper products coated with plasticized film that are still usable may also be eliminated from the market.

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