Europe Floats Plan to Ban Plastic Straws


After inspiring internet companies to bomabard our inboxes with privacy notices about GDPR for a couple weeks, the EU is moving on. Having made the internet a safe(r) place, Europe is now concerned about the environment. Step one is a proposal to ban one time use plastics—that means plastic straws.

On Monday (5.28), the European Commission unveiled a new proposal that would prohibit certain plastic products including cotton buds (a.k.a. Q-tips), straws, stirrers and balloon sticks. According to the EC, the measure would eliminate damage valued at $22 billion over the next 12 years. In addition, some 3.4 million tons of carbon emissions would be eliminated according to the Commission’s estimates.

“Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem,” said EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans. “Today’s proposals will reduce single-use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures. We will ban some of these items and substitute them with cleaner alternatives, so people can still use their favorite products.”

Mind you, the proposal is just that—a proposal. Before becoming law, the plan will need approval from the European Parliament as well as member nations. In additon, no actual deadlines have been floated for implementation.

Plastic straws take hundred of years to biodegrade. Environmentalists estimate that over one billion straws are thrown away daily.

Photo courtesy Twitter

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