Single-Use Plastics Are Being Banned in the EU

Alan L. Johnson

According to the BBC, the EU Parliament has voted to ban single-use plastics.

> MEPs backed a ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks. The proposal also calls for a reduction in single-use plastic for food and drink containers like plastic cups. One MEP said, if no action was taken, "by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans".

The recent momentum for this was attributed to David Attenborough's BBC Blue Planet series. The final episode urged viewers to do their part in reducing plastic waste. It highlighted the issue that in our oceans there are 1 million pieces of plastic per every square mile, killing albatross, dolphins and ultimately our food chain. In closing, Attenborough said, “The future of all life now depends on us.":

The pollution to the environment is incredible:

Plastics are everywhere in the ocean:

Just look:


> MEPs also tacked on amendments to the plans for cigarette filters, a plastic pollutant that is common litter on beaches. Cigarette makers will have to reduce the plastic by 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2030. Another ambitious target is to ensure 90% of all plastic drinks bottles are collected for recycling by 2025. Currently, bottles and their lids account for about 20% of all the sea plastic.

It will be very interesting to see if other countries adopt similar legislation. Corporations could be doing much more to save the environment. The implications to industries are vast and it will take time to be fully understood.

Reality Changing Observations

Q1. What effect do you believe this decision will have on single-use plastics around the world?

Q2. Do you believe the United States should take a similar posture? Why or why not?

Q3. How can you inform others about plastics pollution so they will feel compelled to take action?