Europe plans ban on plastic cutlery, straws and more

Europe is proposing a ban on single-use plastic items such as cutlery, ...

Posted: May 29, 2018 6:02 AM
Updated: May 29, 2018 6:02 AM

Europe is proposing a ban on single-use plastic items such as cutlery, straws and cotton buds in a bid to clean up the oceans.

The European Commission wants to ban 10 items that make up 70% of all litter in EU waters and on beaches. The list also includes plastic plates and drink stirrers.

The draft rules were unveiled Monday but need the approval of all EU member states and the European Parliament. It could take three or four years for the rules to come into force.

The legislation is not just about banning plastic products. It also wants to make plastic producers bear the cost of waste management and cleanup efforts, and it proposes that EU states must collect 90% of single-use plastic bottles by 2025 through new recycling programs.

The European Commission estimates that these rules, once fully implemented in 2030, could cost businesses over -3 billion ($3.5 billion) per year. But they could also save consumers about -6.5 billion ($7.6 billion) per year, create 30,000 jobs, and avoid -22 billion ($25.6 billion) in environmental damage and cleanup costs.

Related: China trash ban is a global recycling wake up call

The Rethink Plastic Alliance -- an association of environmental organizations -- called the proposals "a leap forward in tackling plastic pollution" but criticized some perceived shortcomings.

The proposals do not set targets for EU countries to reduce the use of plastic cups and food containers, it said.

"This could result in countries claiming they are taking the necessary steps as long as any reduction is achieved, regardless of how small," the alliance said in a statement.

The proposal also faced criticism from the plastics industry.

Plastics Europe, which represents manufacturers, said it supported the "overarching objective" of the proposal but said there must be more resources dedicated to "waste management" to ensure better collection of used plastic.

"Plastic product bans are not the solution," it said in a statement, and noted that "alternative products may not be more sustainable."

Related: Starbucks offers $10 million for ideas on a better cup

On a global basis, only 14% of plastic is collected for recycling. The reuse rate is terrible compared to other materials -- 58% of paper and up to 90% of iron and steel gets recycled.

Research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world's oceans by 2050, which has spurred policy makers, individuals and companies into action.

Last month a group of more than 40 companies including Coca-Cola, Nestle, Unilever and Procter & Gamble pledged to slash the amount of plastic they use and throw away in the United Kingdom.

Starbucks also announced in March it was launching a $10 million grant challenge to solicit designs for a cup that's easier to recycle.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
90° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 104°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
88° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 93°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
90° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 104°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 88°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
91° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 94°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
91° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 94°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 83°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 83°
Logansport
Mostly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 79°
Record heat expected over the weekend.
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 748654

Reported Deaths: 13714
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1029801769
Lake553301003
Allen41600690
St. Joseph36919564
Hamilton36487416
Elkhart29332457
Tippecanoe22833225
Vanderburgh22535398
Porter19307324
Johnson18377385
Hendricks17578317
Clark13176193
Madison13105343
Vigo12594253
LaPorte12384220
Monroe12147174
Delaware10941196
Howard10244225
Kosciusko9606119
Hancock8538144
Bartholomew8154157
Warrick7851156
Floyd7759179
Grant7224178
Wayne7153201
Boone6909103
Morgan6732141
Dubois6209118
Marshall6206116
Cass5989108
Henry5891108
Dearborn588778
Noble579486
Jackson508074
Shelby500297
Lawrence4724121
Gibson443793
Harrison440173
Clinton439255
DeKalb438485
Montgomery433390
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398159
Miami391968
Jasper385953
Knox375590
Putnam371760
Wabash360482
Ripley346370
Adams344855
Jefferson335384
White328753
Daviess302499
Wells294881
Decatur289792
Greene286085
Fayette284464
Posey273535
LaGrange272672
Scott269455
Clay265147
Randolph244683
Washington244334
Jennings235049
Spencer233931
Starke227457
Fountain217547
Sullivan213943
Owen210758
Fulton200742
Jay200732
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186637
Rush175526
Vermillion173144
Franklin170135
Tipton165546
Parke148716
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski119947
Newton112536
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91215
Warren83515
Switzerland8068
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0419

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events