‘Failing to vote is voting to fail’: Plastics ban proves the power of popular pressure



In its final meeting before the European Parliament elections, which are taking place on 23-26 May 2019, the Council of the European Union greenlighted a raft of promising environmental laws.

The most ground-breaking of these is a directive on single-use plastics. Employing the maxim that prevention is better than the cure, the new legislation seeks to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by banning a number of disposable plastic items, including  plates, straws, cotton buds, beverage stirrers, cutlery and expanded polystyrene food containers.

The directive also includes measures to ensure that manufacturers pay for the waste management and clean up of certain single-use plastic items, and that plastic bottles are manufactured with at least 25% recycled material by 2025.

The Council also passed legislation that will advance the EU’s drive to deliver clean energy for all, to streamline reporting rules for environmental laws, and to make fertilisers gentler on the environment.

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