The European Parliament has approved a new law prohibiting the use of disposable plastic products. By 2021, the following products will be banned in the EU: plastic single-use cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and sticks for food), disposable plastic plates, plastic straws for beverages, cotton sticks, food containers and cups of foam polystyrene.

By 2029, EU member states will have to collect 90 % of plastic bottles for recycling and they will be produced using 25 % recycled materials in 2025 and 30 % in 2030. The agreement also enhances the application of the polluter pays principle, in particular with regard to tobacco, by introducing increased producer responsibility.

This new regime will also apply to fishing gear to ensure that producers, not fishermen, bear the costs of collecting nets lost at sea. According to the European Commission, the disposable products prohibited by the new rules make up 70 % of the waste entering the world’s oceans, endangering wildlife and fish resources.

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