27-March-2019 – Strabourg – The EU Parliament signaled the beginning of the end for single-use plastics in a new law banning single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws and cotton bud sticks. Given the growing evidence of the impact of plastics on biodiveristy and water, it is a welcome new approach.
The agreement also strengthens the application of the polluter pays principle, in particular for tobacco, by introducing extended responsibility for producers. This new regime will also apply to fishing gear, to ensure that manufacturers, and not fishermen, bear the costs of collecting nets lost at sea.
It is likely a sign of things to come as more is understood about the impacts of differnet materials on the environment. It should also serve as a wake-up call to packaging industry to further innovate sustainable alternatives in food and consumer product packaging.