Commenting on the successful European Parliament vote on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, the European Green Party co-chairs, Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:
“Today the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to adopt a ban or drastically reduce the impact of certain plastic products in the environment with 571 votes in favour, 53 against and 34 abstentions.
“This is an monumental step towards tackling single-use plastics that clog our oceans and litter our beaches.
“The directive includes banning plastic cotton bud sticks, plates, cutlery and sticks for balloons, as well as introducing consumption reduction targets for plastic food containers and drinks cups. Green MEPs also voted in favour of changes, including banning very lightweight plastic carrier bags, oxodegradable plastic products, and certain expanded polystyrene food and drinks containers.
“Some 8 million metric tons of plastic is tipped into our oceans every year and at current rates, plastic production is expected to double again by 2036. We need to send out a clear signal to businesses that it’s time to ditch single-use-plastics and opt instead for sustainable solutions wherever possible. European citizens also have a role to play in consuming more sustainably and in the interests of a cleaner planet.
“The past half-century can aptly be described as the age of plastic. It’s about time we drew a line underneath our over-reliance on plastic and started to explore new alternatives which mostly already exist.”