Plastics make up 80% of the litter that ends up in the ocean for various reasons. A very serious problem as it decomposes very slowly and eventually breaks down into microparticles that marine fauna ingests. Through the same chain of consumption, people consume fishery products and consume these contaminating microparticles. This is why the new law banning the use of single-use plastics in the EU is more than important.
With a new law they ban the use of single-use plastics
As of July 3, 2021, they will ban the use of plastics in the member states of the European Union that are only used once. Articles that can no longer be used form a long list. These include ear plugs, straws, cutlery and disposable crockery, toothpicks for holding balloons or styrofoam containers.
The so-called “biodegradable” bags cannot be sold either, as they also break down into microparticles made of plastic over time. Precisely biodegradable plastic bags make up almost 70% of the litter that ends up in Europe’s seas. Few products are currently unrelated to the ban. Cigarette filters, beverage containers, fast food containers, wet wipes or hygiene articles, among others
However, the manufacturers of these products have to pay for their collection while running awareness campaigns to inform the public about the environmental impact of their use and, most importantly, of their disposal.
The countries of the EU intend to reduce the problem by the end of the decade
The goal is for Europe to move towards a circular economy by the end of the decade, where recycling creates a chain of consumption of products made from it. However, these actions will be carried out according to the guidelines and needs of each country.
Styrofoam food containers may not be used in Germany. In France, fruit or vegetable packaging, plastic tea bags, plastic toys for children’s menus and confetti are prohibited. Belgium and Italy introduced a tax on plastic to prevent its use.
One of the most common plastic products, the use of which is not prohibited, is bottles. These containers are 100% recyclable, both to convert them into new bottles and for other industrial uses such as: Although it is intended that those responsible for placing the containers on the market take care of their collection. Currently only 65% of the bottles return to the recycling plant, the other 35% end up in the garbage or on the ocean floor. The goal is for 90% of packaging to be recycled by 2030.
Plastics made from medical and healthcare materials that were used during the pandemic are also exempt from this phase. Masks, gloves and other materials used add up to more than 170 tons of waste across the continent.
Spain, along with 12 other countries, has already committed to making all plastic packaging and products recyclable by 2025. More than 90 companies are involved in this project. There is hope that the law banning the use of single-use plastics will favor the ecology of our planet in the near future.