As you will all have already read, European Union was elaborate a commented legislation project: as of 2021, begins the ban of single-use plastics, such as cotton swabs, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and plastic balloon sticks.
What does the new legislation involve?
- Oxo-degradable materials and some containers and vessels made of expanded polystyrene are added to the list. Oxo-degradable materials are fragmented into microplastics, negatively altering recycling.
- Manufacturers will be obligated to make a greater effort in the recycling of plastic, they will have to pay for the waste management and cleaning of several single-use plastic items such as cigarette butts.
- From 2025, PET bottles must contain at least 25% recycled plastics, a percentage that will increase five points in 2030.
- To avoid serious blockages and millionaire expenses in wastewater evacuation systems, wet wipes, compresses and buffers must include clear and legible information on the way of waste disposal, on its negative environmental impact and the presence of plastics in them.
What impacts do single-us plastics have with improper management?
- They pollute the ground and the water.
- They congest waterways and intensify natural disasters.
- It is estimate that on 2050, 99% of seabirds will ingest plastic.
- They clog sewage networks and become breeding sites for mosquitoes, raising the risk of malaria transmission.
- They release toxic chemicals and emissions if burned.
- Losses in well-being (visual pollution).
- Contamination of the food chain.
- They cause economic losses in the tourism, fishing and shipping industries.
- High transport costs to centralized light foamed plastic plants due to the difficulty of recycling them in local plants.
- Future costs of cleaning up accumulated plastic waste in the environment.
"If we don’t improve our consume patrons and our waste manufacturing practices, by 2050 there will be approximately 12 million metric tons of plastic rubbish in rubbish dumps and in the environment"
First steps to follow when banning single-use plastics
- Promote ecological alternatives to progressively eliminate single-use plastics, such as encouraging projects to improve or recycle single-use containers.
- Implement improvements in waste management systems, which would imply less waste in the environment.
- Educate consumers to make pro-environmental decisions, starting with campaigns in schools and public pressure.
- Enable Voluntary Reduction strategies since the existence of a high social conscience and public pressure are a prerequisite for effective use reduction strategies.
- Prohibit or impose levies on the use and sale of single-use plastic items, through prohibitions and taxes.
“The key to achieving these plastic reduction steps is the commitment to the circular economy”
If you want to be prepared for the ban on single-use plastics, contact us (RepaQ Packaging Consulting).