European parliament votes to ban single-use plastics (EU)
Vote by MEPs paves way for law to come into force by 2021 across EU.
The European parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers as part of a sweeping law against plastic waste that despoils beaches and pollutes oceans.
As well as targeting the most common plastic beach litter, the directive will ban single-use polystyrene cups and those made from oxo-degradable plastics that disintegrate into tiny fragments.
EU member states will have to introduce measures to reduce the use of plastic food containers and plastic lids for hot drinks. By 2025, plastic bottles should be made of 25% recycled content, and by 2029 90% of them should be recycled.
At the sitting in Strasbourg, 560 MEPs voted in favour of the recent agreement hammered out with EU ministers, 35 against, with 28 abstentions. The directive only has to pass through formalities before it is published in the EU rulebook. Once that happens, EU member states will have two years to implement the directive.
Every year, Europeans generate 25m tonnes of plastic waste, but less than 30% is collected for recycling. More than 80% of marine litter is plastic.