EU bans single use cotton buds, plastic plates and straws from today

EU bans single use cotton buds, plastic plates and straws from today

EU bans cotton buds, plastic plates and straws made from single-use plastic from today.

EU’s Single-Use Plastic (SUP) Directive comes into effect today, Saturday, July 3, which means that many common items made with single-use plastics are now banned in the bloc.

EU bans single use cotton buds, plastic plates and straws from today
EU bans the use of throwaway plastics from today. image: Shutterstock

Cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, stirrers, chopsticks, straws, expanded polystyrene single-use food and beverage containers, and all oxo-degradable plastic products are on the list of products that are banned from being placed in establishments across the EU.

The objective of the EU Directive is “to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, in particular the aquatic environment, and on human health, as well as to promote the transition to a circular economy with innovative and sustainable business models, products and materials”.

Single-use plastic products are used once, or for a short period of time, before being thrown away. The 10 most commonly found single-use plastic items represent 70pc of all marine litter in the EU, and up to 85pc of all marine litter in the EU is plastic.

“This is the latest in a series of measures we’re taking to reduce plastic waste and better manage the waste we do produce. Our future depends on us rapidly changing the way we produce products; this will contribute to a much wider effort to address climate change,” said TD Alan Farrell, Fine Gael Climate Action Spokesperson.

“The introduction of this directive will allow us to build on our commitments to tackle climate change and meet our ambitious targets. Recent record temperatures in Canada are the latest reminder that we need to tackle Climate Change, now. We cannot afford to wait any longer to act,” Deputy Farrell added.


Burger King to ditch all single-use plastic in the UK

Burger King UK made a new commitment in March this year promising to phase out all single-use plastic by 2025, replacing packaging with reusables and with recycled or certified plastic-free alternatives.

The fast-food giant had already committed to removing single-use plastic ‘where possible’ and making all packaging recyclable at the curbside, but the new targets go one step further.

Burger King UK has already removed plastic straws from restaurants, replacing them with paper-based alternatives, and ditched plastic toys for kids’ meals. Items that will need to be tackled to meet the new 2025 targets include cup lids and condiment sachets.

                                   Single-use plastics- where did you think they end up?

McDonald’s takes plastic off the menu

At the end of 2019, the fast-food leader began an ecological turnaround in the production and management of plastics in its restaurants. A number of measures have been introduced in Europe, where legislation is being tightened.

Its single-use makes it one of the most polluting and widespread small objects: the number of straws thrown away worldwide every day is estimated at 1 billion.

More generally, every second 10.1 metric tons of plastic are produced worldwide, of which barely 26% is recycled, according to Citeo.

Since November 2019, plastic straws have completely disappeared from McDonald’s French restaurants, as have the plastic lids that used to cover its cold drinks cups.

From now on, at McDonald’s, you drink your coke from a paper fibre cup made from “sustainably managed forests”. Eventually, the French subsidiary reckons it will be able to reduce its annual plastic consumption by 1,200 metric tons.

“Thanks to this operation, only 4% of plastic will be left in our packaging,” states Delphine Smagghe, Vice-President for purchasing at McDonald’s France.

The UK is not implementing the directive

ENGLAND is not implementing the Directive. However, the UK Government wants to reduce single-use plastics using other policies – such as its Waste and Resources Strategy. English legislation has limited the use of plastic straws and stirrers since 2020. Many charities campaign against polystyrene and oxo-degradable plastics. There is no change required to how you use Vegware products.

WALES is likely to opt into many parts of the Directive. The Welsh Government held a consultation in 2020 proposing to ban nine different single-use plastic items. It will publish its conclusions in 2021 – look out for them here.

SCOTLAND aims to meet or exceed the EU Directive. Scotland is consulting on its draft legislation until 13th April 2021, so do respond. The Scottish Government’s first consultation in early 2021 included proposals that would result in a ban on most takeaway food containers. Read why Vegware believes these proposals go too far and miss an environmental opportunity.

Northern Ireland

EU’s Single-Use Plastic (SUP) Directive means that many common items made with single-use plastics will be banned from the Irish market.

Other measures

Other measures in the SUP Directive will come into effect in later years, including a requirement for producers of single-use packaging to cover the costs of litter clean up by 2023, and for beverage producers to have a minimum of 25pc recycled plastic in SUP bottles by 2025.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article, please remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories.

FacebookTwitterRedditWhatsAppTelegramLinkedInEmailCopy Link
Go Back
Written by

Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.


    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *