EU Commission’s new proposal to reduce single-use plastics

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Brussels, May 28 (IANS) The European Commission (EC) on Monday announced a new proposal for tackling marine litter that would target the 10 types of single-use plastics most found in the sea.

In a press conference, EC Vice President Frans Timmermans and Vice President for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness Jyrki Katainen unveiled the proposed directive, which would limit or even ban certain plastic products, place greater responsibility on producers and raise further awareness on the effect of plastic litter on the environment.

The proposal is aimed at outlawing many commonplace plastic items including straws, cotton buds, cutlery, balloon sticks and drink stirrers, the BBC reported.

“This is a targeted and proportionate initiative that directly addresses the top sources of marine litter in Europe — the top 10 single use plastic items found on EU beaches; and abandoned, lost and disposed off fishing gear — which together constitute 70 per cent of all marine litter items,” said the Commission in a statement.

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Member states will be given consumption reduction targets and by 2025, they will be required to collect 90 per cent of single-use plastic drink bottles, according to the Commission’s proposal, Efe news reported.

The EC estimated that the environmental damage caused by single-use plastics could cost up to 233 billion euros ($271 billion) by 2030.

–IANS

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