The European Commission proposed a ban on 10 plastic items that make up 70 percent of litter Monday in an attempt to clean up the oceans.
The Commission announced the proposal in a Monday press release, saying plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and sticks for balloons should all be banned. The ban wouldn’t be fully implemented until 2030, but by that time, the Commission estimates it will have costed businesses $3.5 billion, according to CNN Money. (RELATED: Save The Earth: Chop Down Redwoods And Eat GMOs)
“This Commission promised to be big on the big issues and leave the rest to Member States. Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food,” EC Vice President Frans Timmermans said. “Today’s proposals will reduce single use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures. We will ban some of these items, and substitute them with cleaner alternatives so people can still use their favorite products.”
The United Kingdom unveiled an initiative in April to ban plastic straws as well, saying they contributed too much waste. Prime Minister Theresa May announced to criminalize the use of all plastic waste by 2042. The ban includes stirrers and cotton swabs, two of the major causes of environmental disaster, according to May. (RELATED: Greens Missed The Market On 2018 Earth Day)
“Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,” May said in the statement announcing the ban.
Local officials in the U.S. have also considered banning straws. Three members of city council in Berkeley, Calif., proposed legislation in the final week of May that would ban plastic straws, reported KPIX. The city has previously banned plastic bags and placed an extra tax on soda.
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