A Big Step To Reduce Plastic Pollution

 

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Volunteers cleared trash from the banks of the River Thames during the annual Big Bottle Count in London last month. Credit Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Thanks to Ceylan Yeginsu and the New York Times for this news:

European Parliament Approves Ban on Single-Use Plastics

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Under the proposal, 10 single-use plastics that most often end up in the ocean will be prohibited in the European Union. Credit Rafael Marchante/Reuters

LONDON — The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a ban on single-use plastics such as straws, plates, cutlery and cotton-swab sticks in Europe by 2021, joining a global shift as environmentalists emphasize the urgency of halting the use of materials that are detrimental to the planet.

Under the proposal, approved on a vote of 571 to 53 on Wednesday, 10 single-use plastics that most often end up in the ocean will be prohibited in the European Union, as well as oxo-degradable plastics, such as bags or fast-food container packaging.

The use of other plastics such as single-use burger and sandwich boxes that don’t have practical alternatives at this point will be reduced by at least 25 percent by 2025, and 90 percent of beverage bottles will be recycled, under the proposal.

The European Parliament will next enter into negotiations with the European Council of government ministers for the 28 member states, who are expected to make a final decision on the legislation by Dec. 16.

“We have adopted the most ambitious legislation against single-use plastics,” said Frédérique Ries, the member of the European Parliament who drafted the bill.

“Today’s vote paves the way to a forthcoming and ambitious directive,” she added. “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.”…

Read the whole story here.

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