Environmentalists hail ban on single-use plastics in the EU

Environmental organizations today welcomed the European Parliament’s proposal to ban the use of single-use plastic from 2021 and stressed that the Portuguese government was less ambitious.

The European Parliament today approved a proposal which provides inter alia for the ban on the sale of single-use plastic products in the European Union (EU) from 2021 onwards.

The proposal, with 571 votes in favour and 53 in against, prohibits the sale of dishes, cutlery, cotton swabs, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks, as well as products of oxo-degradable plastics (fragments) and food containers and expanded polystyrene beverages (styrofoam).

“Europe puts an end to disposable plastics and takes further steps recently approved by the Portuguese government,” the environmental association Quercus said in a statement, pointing out that Europe faced the problem of pollution caused by disposable plastic “even more determined “than Portugal.

Zero, another environmental organization, also says in a statement that the Portuguese government must “show the same ambition as the European Parliament”.

In the document, Zero highlights the express vote in the measure, the ban on sphagnum packages and restrictions on fishing, and regrets that the ban on very light sacks was not adopted, a measure that had been approved in the Environment Committee.

“Member States now have an obligation to show the same commitment to the protection of human health and the environment,” Zero says.

For Quercus, the measures adopted today are “fundamental for changing behaviour in Europe” and allow the sector involved (industry, packers, distribution and catering) to “adapt to the new reality”.

The organization points out that marine pollutants are banned, but says that in water bottles the measure “could have been more ambitious.”

“It is essential to involve producers and hold them accountable for the impact of their products on the environment, imposing the need for them to inform the consumer about this impact of packaging when incorrectly routed, such as exists for example for health in the case of tobacco, “says Quercus.

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