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The fight against plastic waste : the EU decides to ban single-use plastic

plastic plates, drinking straws and other disposable plastic products should be banned in Europe in the future. Negotiators of the European Parliament and EU States agreed on Wednesday in Brussels tomorrow on a corresponding regulation. The ban would help reduce the tons of plastic waste in the environment and in the world's oceans to contain. In effect the Changes are expected to come in about two years.

The EU Commission had proposed in may to prohibit once for utensils, straws, cotton swabs, and other disposable articles made of plastic. The amount of food packaging and drinking cups is to be pushed with reduction targets. The European Parliament and EU countries had changed the plans in the legislative process easily. Both sides have to confirm the agreement of the negotiators, officially. But this is true as a technicality.

The strategy on plastic waste is expected to bring for almost Everyone in daily life noticeable changes. Only items for which there are already better Alternatives to be from the beginning of 2021. This includes air balloon rods. Important the package is mainly for the plastic industry, which is made according to the authorities in 2015, with a turnover of 340 billion euros and 1.5 million people employed.

the lid of disposable bottles made of plastic may be brought five years after the entry into force of the scheme only in circulation, if you are not connected to the bottle so that they land separately in the environment. The Federal environment Minister, Svenja Schulze (SPD) had required that States can avoid this obligation with a pledge system. Most of the bottles for the Deposit will be given back with the lid, it was said by the Ministry to justify. No EU-wide majority.

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in order to apply for a series of one-off products with a certain content of Plastic - such as wet wipes - a labelling requirement. It should also be on the negative environmental effects.

of plastic waste is located on the beach of Ko Si Chang, an island in the Gulf of Thailand.Photo: picture alliance / Christoph Sat

The EU Commission, major environmental benefits from the Plan. The measures are intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3.4 million tons. By 2030, the environmental damage to the value of € 22 billion could be avoided, it said. Consumers could save up to 6.5 billion euros. The Commission justified the move primarily with the protection of the oceans. More than 80 percent of the garbage in the oceans are plastic.

part of the new strategy, the participation of producers to the costs for the collection and recycling of the products concerned. So, for example, the tobacco industry could be in the future, for the Collection of cigarette butts to the cashier asked. "Who is disposable making articles, such as cigarettes, will in the future need to take more responsibility for the waste," environment Minister Schulze the Newspapers of the Funke media group. "The cigarette industry could be involved, for example, the costs for cleaning beaches or Parks."

"A milestone in our Efforts to reduce plastic waste," tweeted the Austrian Minister Elisabeth Köstinger. Austria currently holds the six-monthly rotating presidency, the EU member States. (dpa)

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