EU votes to ban disposable plastics

The EU has agreed on a law that would ban single-use plastic products starting 2021. Negotiators from the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the EU states have agreed on the details of the legislation with the help of which cotton buds, plastic utensils and straws are to be banned. For commentators the law is a step in the right direction.

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Denik (CZ) /

Finally we're becoming aware of the problem

Denik welcomes the EU's decision without reservations:

“The days of single-use plastics which are hard to recycle are numbered. We've had plenty of bad experiences with them so prolonging their life span is unnecessary. This is a harsh step. After all, more than 1.5 million people across Europe work in this branch of production. But the ban on plastic straws, cutlery, plates, cups and packaging will make other environmental measures that would cost billions unnecessary. ... We needn't congratulate ourselves on finally coming to this realisation, but the fact that we are aware of the problem at least holds out hope for the future.”

Wiener Zeitung (AT) /

Europe must set a good example

The EU didn't allow itself to be divided by lobbyists, the Wiener Zeitung comments approvingly:

“It's good that all parties were able to agree on the regulations. That shows that the EU is able to act on this key point. It was only to be expected that the chemical industry would criticise the new rules. Its argument is that the new law misses its real target because Europe and North America produce only a small amount of the plastic waste in the ocean. But who if not Europe can set a good example?”

Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (PL) /

Manufacturers can breathe a sigh of relief

Things could have been even worse for the sector, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna also stresses:

“Manufacturers of packaging and food products were jittery about the new regulations. But in the end the EU has been lenient. The branch will have to adhere to the restrictive rules but it will have more time to do this than initially planned. For example the obligation to introduce bottles with attached caps will come into force in five years rather than two. ... Most manufacturers are more afraid of how consumers will react. Making cartons without plastic caps will no doubt mean a return to the cut-off corners most manufacturers had given up on.”