Ban on disposable plastic: What you need to know consumer now

On our oceans, up to 140 million tons of plastic. To the flood of garbage, has reached an agreement with the EU on a far-reaching ban of single-use plastic. FOCUS Online explains what this means for consumers.

What has been decided by the EU?

The EU is making in the fight against excessive plastic waste Seriously: Starting in 2021, a far-reaching ban of single-use plastic is to apply. From the market, among other things, cotton swabs, plastic utensils and drinking straws to be taken accordingly. The ban will only be in about two years, since the agreement must be approved by the negotiators finally by the Parliament and the member States.

In addition, to be recycled. By 2025, all PET plastic bottles in the EU should consist of a minimum of 25 percent recycled plastic, said the Austrian presidency of the Council. By 2030, this binding target should be raised to 30 percent.

What products are banned?

The EU has it apart especially on single-use plastic, i.e., products that usually be used only once, and after a short time thrown away. Among the products banned

  • Straws plastic
  • Plastic tableware
  • Plastic Cutlery
  • Cotton swabs with plastic share
  • Balloon holder is made of plastic
  • small plastic packaging
  • Disposable cups and lids made of plastic

The environment Committee in the EU Parliament want to in addition use lightweight plastic bags and certain foamed plastics on the ban list, as it is known, for example, of the white boxes for Take-away food.

What can I use instead?

Be banished, only items for which there is from the point of view of the EU Commission’s Alternative. As a replacement for plastic drinking straws from paper or reusable made of a harder plastic, for example, come in question. Also, cotton swabs are already in a plastic-free version made from bamboo and cotton.

  • Our editor lived for a month without plastic. Here geht's to your plastic free-diary

What is the penalty for violation?

For all products that fall under the agreed Directive, will apply the so-called extended producer responsibility: The manufacturer can cost about the clean-up involved by the littering of their products.

A special regulation is, among other things, for manufacturers of plastics containing tobacco filters were provided: As tobacco filters are the second most polluting disposables in the EU are expected to take the manufacturer in the future, the costs for public systems for the disposal of cigarette butts, said the presidency.

The ban really does something?

Disposable tableware and To-Go packaging have caused in Germany last year, almost 350,000 tonnes of waste. According to the EU Commission, Europe will be collected only about a third of the total plastic waste and recycled. Much of the rest ends up in rubbish dumps or in the environment.

Plastic decomposes very slowly and accumulates particularly in the sea and on beaches. Up to 85 percent of all in the EU, the washed-up waste are made of plastic – it is in about half of cases weggeschmissene disposable products. The ban is intended to reduce this amount drastically.