EU Plan to Tackle Marine Litter

Polluted water ocean plastic bottles

The EU plastic waste strategy was strengthened December 19, 2018 when the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached a provisional political agreement to "tackle marine litter at its source, targeting the 10 plastic products most often found on our beaches as well as abandoned fishing gear … It envisages different measures to apply to different product categories."

"Where alternatives are easily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market, such as plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers, sticks for balloons, products made of oxo-degradable plastic and food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene. For other products, the focus is on limiting their use through a national reduction in consumption; on design and labelling requirements; and waste management/clean-up obligations for producers."

The agreement must now be approved by the Parliament and Council. Following approval, the Member States will have two years to transpose the legislation into regulations.

Source: Single-use plastics: Commission welcomes ambitious agreement on new rules to reduce marine litter, December 19, 2018