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EU may ban plastic straws, stirs, cotton buds
The European Union (EU) on Monday proposed a bloc-wide ban on single-use plastics such as straws and cutlery while urging the collection of most plastic drinks bottles by 2025.
The proposals are part of a growing EU drive to rid the environment of plastic waste which has begun showing up in the food chain.
“Plastic waste is a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem,” EU First vice president Frans Timmermans said. “Today’s proposals will reduce single-use plastics in our supermarkets through a range of measures.”
The proposals call for banning banning plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks, but it did not set a deadline.
These items must all be made from sustainable materials instead, according to the plan which must be approved by the 28 EU member countries and the European Parliament.
Member states must reduce the use of plastic food containers and drinks cups, by promoting alternatives for sale or ensuring they are not offered free.
Under the plan, producers must contribute to the costs of waste management and will be offered incentives to develop less polluting alternatives.
The problem of plastic affecting the food chain is spreading across the world. More than 2,000 two hit the beach on an outlying island of Hong Kong for a mass rubbish clean up on Sunday as environmentalists warned plastic is killing sea turtles and other wildlife. There has been increasing concern over the amount of rubbish in Hong Kong waters which washes up on its numerous beaches.