The EU is stepping up to tackle plastics in our Oceans
Hey Guys, Finn here,
Did you hear the amazing news from the old world? The EU is banning all single use plastic from the market starting in 2021. Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks or cotton buds, will be banned in the EU under plans adopted on October 24. These products, which make up over 70% of marine litter.
This decision by the EU parliament is a huge relief for me and all my Shore Buddies.
According to the European Commission, more than 80% of marine litter is plastics. The products covered by these restrictions constitute 70% of all marine litter items. Due to its slow rate of decomposition, plastic accumulates on the beaches and in the oceans. Plastic residue is found in marine species – such as sea turtles, seals, whales and birds, but also in fish and shellfish, and therefore in the human food chain.
While plastics are a convenient, adaptable, useful and economically valuable material, they need to be better used, re-used and recycled. Like making adorable stuffed animals out of it.... :)
However, when littered, the economic impact of plastics encompasses not just the lost economic value in the material, but also the costs of cleaning up.
The consumption of several other items, for which no alternative exists, will have to be reduced by member states by least 25% by 2025. This includes single-use burger boxes, sandwich boxes or food containers for fruits, vegetables, desserts or ice creams. Member states will draft national plans to encourage the use of products suitable for multiple use, as well as re-using and recycling.
Other plastics, such as beverage bottles, will have to be collected separately and recycled at a rate of 90% by 2025.
Member states should also ensure that at least 50% of lost or abandoned fishing gear containing plastic is collected per year, with a recycling target of at least 15% by 2025. Fishing gear represents 27% of waste found on beaches.
Although this is not the final solution to keep plastics out of our oceans, let's all cheer in to celebrate this important step into the right direction.