Europe Plans to Ban 90% of Its Plastic Waste by 2025!
As the need for effective conservation methods to be put in place heightens globally, the European Commission took it a notch higher by proposing a new ban on up to 10 items; ones that constitute a whopping 70% of all the waste and litter that is currently found in EU waters as well as their beaches. Some of the controversial items on the list include drink stirrers and plastic plates.
The new, and potentially impact-changing draft rules were first unveiled on Monday last week, but are still awaiting the sign off all EU member states; not to mention the European parliament. That being said, it could take a lengthy three or four years for the rules to be effectively enforced.
The draft rules are not just about banning the aforementioned plastic products. Rather, they are poised to put a sense of discipline among plastic bag producers, making them eligible for the massive costs that come in tandem with effective cleanup methods, as well as waste management.
The new rules also propose that each EU member states must take effort in collecting 90% of every singular-use plastic bottle by 2025, through the inclusion of new recycling programs.
Ambition is the EU’s driving power
The European Commission has high hopes for these new legislations, estimating that once they have been put into full gear by 2030, they could result in businesses sustaining a massive cost just over $3.5 billion a year for effective waste management.
Despite such negative number from the business perspective, the new regulations could also see consumers saving roughly $7.6 billion every year; not to mention create a whopping 30,000 jobs; and also avert environmental damages and cleanup charges amounting to a whopping $25.6 billion.
Applause as a step in the right direction
The Rethink Plastic Alliance, which is an organization consisting of a number of environmental organizations based in Europe, applauded the EU’s new move and termed it as a step forward in the right direction when it comes to tackling plastic pollution.
However, one issue that was brought to light was that the drafted rules did not set specific targets for each EU country to reduce their food containers or plastic cups.
Hence, member states can simply claim that they are undertaking the required steps to reduce the illegal plastics, regardless of how minimal the progress they make is.
Plastic Industry Clearly not amused
Moreover, the plastic industry was also against the proposal.
In a press statement, a representative of plastic manufacturers, Plastic Europe, stated that it gave support to the “overreaching objective” of the new draft rules, but insisted that there should be more resources availed for the dedication of waste management to ensure efficient collection and recycling of used plastic.
In a continuation of their statement, they also said that a ban on plastic products was not the most feasible solution. Rather, the request for alternative products would be more sustainable.
Shocking recycling statistics
Globally, a meager 14% of all plastic is recycled. The reuse rate fares even worse when compared to that of other materials such as paper and iron.
The research predictions are also terrifying. By 2050, there will be more plastic as compared to fish in terms of weight present in all the world oceans! Such bleak findings are what is driving policymakers, as well as companies, to take decisive action.
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