Climate change is an increasingly worrying concern for populations around the world. Rising temperatures, polluted oceans and the news that China will no longer process waste are clear signs that drastic measures need to be implemented.
In Canada, students have taken to the streets to protest government inaction regarding climate change.
It appears that governments are starting to listen. In Canada, a federal pollution tax is already in effect.
And, in Europe, the EU government has now passed a law banning single-use plastics.
TL;DR The EU is setting new rules regarding single-use plastics. The EU government has agreed to ban 10 single-use plastics by 2021.
The new law passed 560 to 35 in the European Parliament. The law, dubbed the Single-Use Plastics Directive vows to ban ten single-use plastics by 2021.
The EU will ban:
Single-use plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks)
Single-use plastic plates
Cotton bud sticks made of plastic
Plastic balloon sticks
Oxo-degradable plastics and food containers and expanded polystyrene cups
The law also requires countries to collect and recycle at least 90 percent of beverage bottles by 2029.
Parliament has approved a new law banning single-use plastic items:— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) March 27, 2019
✔️ Items such as single-use straws to be banned by 2021
✔️ 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029
✔️ More stringent application of the polluter pays principle
Read more ➡️ https://t.co/Zthe3AnAA1 pic.twitter.com/IXAittyHUt
The law also makes tobacco companies responsible for the cost of picking up cigarette butts, the second most littered single-use plastic item.
Individual countries will decide the method for reducing other single-use plastics that suits them best.
European Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, stated at a conference that “Europe is setting new and ambitious standards, paving the way for the rest of the world.”
The new regulations have some critics. A lobbying group that represents large grocers like Tesco and Lidl stated if the government does not have proper recycling plants and waste management infrastructure, companies will not be able to achieve the goals the EU has set.
Greenpeace welcomed the ban, but said more could be done to limit other plastics.