Europe generates 25 million tonnes of plastic waste each year

August 26, 2019

Europe generates 25 million tonnes of plastic waste each year and recycles less than 30% of it. A new proposed ban on 10 single use plastics, including plastic cutlery, straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds aims to eliminate the use of non-recyclable plastics by 2030, while also increasing the demand for recycled alternatives. Where alternatives are readily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market. ⠀

Under the new proposal, Member States will have to reduce the use of plastic food containers and drinks cups by setting national reduction targets, making alternative products available at the point of sale, or ensuring that single-use plastic products cannot be provided free of charge. Member States will also be charged with raising awareness about the impacts of plastic pollution. Certain products, such as sanitary towels, wet wipes and balloons will require a clear and standardised labelling which indicates how waste should be disposed, the negative environmental impact of the product, and the presence of plastics in the products. ⠀

If these rules are implemented, the EU says they would negate the emission of 3.4 million tonnes of C02 equivalent, avoid €22 billion (US$25 billion) in environmental damages by 2030 and save consumers a projected €6.5 billion (US$7.5 billion). The proposal is now headed to the European Parliament and Council for consideration.⠀