European Parliament Plastic Ban

Non Biodegradable plastics litter the ocean and shores all over the world.

Non Biodegradable plastics litter the ocean and shores all over the world.

Maya Konieczynski, Writer

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The European Parliament voted on October 24th for a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics. The voted was an overwhelming 571 to 53 for the plastic ban, this ban was first proposed back in may of 2018. The purpose of the ban is to help reduce pollution in the seas, waterways, and fields (The Guardian).  The plastic ban includes plastic products that are readily available. This movement was started by a blue planet documentary series with David Attenborough (BBC). In a short film, David Attenborough stated, “We hoped that Blue Planet II would open people’s eyes to the damage that we are doing to our oceans and the creatures that live in them” (Express).

There is an estimated 150 million tons of single-use plastics in the ocean (CNN). Whales can swallow plastic bags which then makes it impossible for them to eat and digest food. If no action is taken then it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by the year 2050(BBC). Many plastics take centuries to fully degrade. The European parliament began phasing out plastic bags 15 years ago. In addition to the plastic bag effort, this ban will include 10 different readily available single-use plastic products (CNN). Products being banned will include straws and cotton swabs.

In addition to the actions that are currently being taken, there are many plans for future actions. An example of these actions include cigarette companies, by the end of 2025, they will have to reduce their use of plastic by 50% and by the year of 2030 they will have to reduce their use of plastic by 80% (BBC). Furthermore, it is planned that 90% of plastic bottles will be recycled by 2025 (The Guardian). It is also planned that more plastic products will be added to the list of products banned as more environmentally friendly replacements become more readily available (BBC). The environmental commissioner, Karmenu Vella stated, “Today we are one step closer to eliminating the most problematic single-use plastic products in Europe. It sends a clear signal that Europe is ready to take decisive, coordinated action to curb plastic waste and to lead international efforts to make our oceans plastic-free” (The Guardian).To help reach these goals people can use reusable bottles and use plastic or metal straws. Another way to help reach these goals is to look up the recycling guidelines for your area.

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