Europe Moves to Ban Single Use Plastic by 2021
The European Parliament is moving ahead with its ban of multiple single use plastic items by 2021 following a resounding vote in favour of the proposal.
The vote is set to halt the consumption of up to 10 different plastic items such as plastic straws, food and drink containers, plastic knives and forks, coffee stirrers and plastic plates. These single use items pose a very real and continuing threat to our marine population and are presently some of the largest pollutants found on European beaches.
There have been isolated cases where certain regions or cities have banned the use of some single use plastics. But a move of this size conducted by the European Parliament is a world first. Hopefully, this ban will enable other regions throughout the globe to be confident in making their respective strides forward in the battle to reduce plastic waste.
Another initiative to reduce plastic waste was a move to ban single use plastic bags in Australia by two supermarket giants, Woolworths and Coles. After some initial teething issues, it can be fair to say that this has been a resounding success thus far.
It is estimated that the change which occurred during 2018 has translated to an 80% decrease in the consumption of plastic bags Australia wide so far. Some retailers have even seen rates decrease by a staggering 90%.
The move will also create a pathway for smaller businesses to adopt similar policies sooner rather later.
The move to reduce plastic waste by governments and large corporations may only be gradual and perhaps not as fast as we would like. However, each of us have the chance to use less plastic by making even the smallest of adjustments to our daily routine.
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