European Union lawmakers moved on Wednesday to ban widely-used, throw-away plastics such as straws and cotton buds, and put a greater burden on manufacturers to recycle in an effort to clear up ocean pollution.
Under the proposal, overwhelmingly backed by the European Parliament, 10 single-use plastic products with readily available alternatives would be banned by 2021. EU states would be obliged to recycle 90 percent of plastic bottles by 2025 and producers to help cover costs of waste management.
“We are sending a strong signal to industry,” EU lawmaker Federique Ries, a Belgian liberal, told Reuters. “There is broad and growing popular support on this issue,” said Ries, who is representing the parliament in negotiations with EU governments.
The EU recycles only a quarter of the 25-million tons of plastics waste it produces per year.