Fantastic news has emerged from the European Parliament today, as the institution decides to ban plastic bottles from its premises.
The decision was announced by the Parliament's bureau, which is responsible for matters relating to the budget, administration and organisation.
Heidi Hautala, a Green Member and Vice President of the European Parliament, holds a seat on the bureau, and fought hard to make this victory a reality!
RIGHT NOW: Happy to announce that the EP bureau has decided to get rid of all plastic bottles and minimise single use plastic altogether at the parliament from July 2019. Phase out already underway! EP will lead by example!@jyrkikatainen @TimmermansEU @POLITICOEurope
— Heidi Hautala (@HeidiHautala) June 11, 2018
Here's what she had to say when the news went public:
“I’m delighted to announce that the European Parliament has decided to get rid of all plastic bottles!
“The Parliament will now also minimise the use of single-use plastic altogether. The European Parliament will lead, not only in policies, but also by example towards curbing our plastic problem!”
And what a problem it is!
Since the 1950s, some 8.3bn tons of plastic have been produced worldwide. About half of this is single-use plastic and is thrown away immediately after use!
When plastic is tossed into a bin, the problem does not just “go away” and our oceans bear the brunt of the epidemic. Every single minute, the equivalent of a truckload enters our oceans! We are literally choking our planet with plastic!
Luckily, the tide is turning on plastic pollution, with a gowing number of individuals, groups, organisations, businesses, and governments waking up to the crisis.
Greens have long campaigned on the issue, and have succeeded in getting vital legislation passed to address the issue.
In 2015 for example, a historic deal to cut Europe’s throwaway plastic bag culture was championed by Margrete Auken, a Green Member of the European Parliament and parliamentary rapporteur on plastic bags.
Just a few weeks ago, the European Green family adopted a resolution at our Council meeting in Antwerp to adopt a Europe-wide strategy on plastics.
We’re delighted with today’s announcement from the European Parliament, and will keep up the fight against plastics in Europe!