Reducing plastic waste in the EU and around the world

Reducing plastic waste in the EU and around the world

Reducing plastic waste in the EU and around the world.

The European Council and Parliament have approved directive that bans several single-use plastic products in the European Union by 2021. Recap information on what is banned and what is not as well as few notable places besides EU where the defense on single-use plastic is made are covered in this post. 

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

In the EU the replacement has to be found for already banned plastic products, however, some potentially hazardous plastic products for the environment such as diapers are not banned and will be addressed to consumers and manufacturers in more friendly ways.

The products that have been banned by regulation are cotton buds, plastic utensils, plates, straws, cocktail sticks, and inflatable balloon sticks.

The food packaging and plastic cups are not banned, the consumption of these products has to be significantly reduced within 6 year period and an alternative option has to be provided in order to commence the exit of these products from the market.

Plastic bottles are not banned as well. The new design has to be introduced tough that ensures that the bottle cap cannot be removed from the bottle and 90% of plastic bottles have to be collected. At least 30% of new bottles shall be made from collected material by 2029.

The products that the new directive ban has spared are sanitary towels, tampons and swab applicators, wet wipes and balloons. These markets are huge and the EU has decided to take smaller bights and postponed its elimination for later decades. The producers and retailers will be obliged to mark these products by informing customers of what products are made of, potential hazardousness and how to properly utilize them.

The main reason

Plastic is an excellent invention of the last century, it has no replacement in such industries as the medicine where many lives are saved thanks to plastic products. Plastic products also help millions of humans with low income to survive by gathering clean water. However, there is one feature that makes plastic meaningless after its utilization. It does not biodegrade! Wood rots, metal rusts, but plastic compiles into environment, oceans, living organisms. Moreover, not only in the digestive system but also in the tissues. This is the reason why single-use plastic is not good.

Plastic is everywhere and single-use plastic shall be banned not only in EU but possible across the globe. The main reason is ocean waste as single-use plastic accounts for more than 50% of waste in the oceans. EU massive ban is a significant step in reducing single-use plastic. The EU is no the only one who has taken measures to halt the inflow of waste by regulating production. Here are a few notable countries and cities that are acting or have acted on the single-use plastic issue as well.

The regulation on single-use plastic increases

UK – has a tax on plastic bags since 2015. The Queen has banned plastic straws and bottles from Royal Estate. In 2018 Michael Gove (environment minister) has announced 25-year plan to set the global golden standard on eliminating plastic waste.

Taiwan – in 2018 announced bans on plastic, restricting the use of single-use plastic bags, straws, utensils, and cups.

Montreal – the city banned single-use plastic in 2018

Malibu – the city has banned single-use plastic straws, stirrers and plastic cutlery from 2018 1 June.

Seattle – the city has banned plastic straws and utensils from 1 July 2018.

US cities – besides Seattle that have plastic bag bans now are : Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco. City of New York will follow in March 2020. 

California – the statewide ban on plastic bags was passed already in 2014. 

Australia – has statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

Canada – has stopped plastic products with microbeads since 1 July 2018 and considers wider legislation on banning single use plastic. 

Geneva – the city starting 2020 first January will ban plastic straws, cutlery, crockery and cups as well as any other items made of single-use plastic.

New Delhi – banned all forms of single-use plastic since 2017


Several African countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Morocco, and Rwanda have introduced tough measures against single-use plastic products as well.

There are clear signs of movement in the regulatory framework of governments and municipalities across the globe to ban single-use plastic. 

Travel without single-use plastic

Travel green

Traveling to above mentioned or any other place without single use plastic is quite a challenge unless you prepare yourself. 

Here are 7 must have eco friendly,  plane safe products for every traveler.

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