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EU Bans Single Use Plastics

By 2021, you’ll need to find a new (and better) way to sip iced coffee. 

This past Wednesday, the EU overwhelmingly approved a ground-breaking ban on single-use plastics that will come into effect in 2021. The ban includes items such as straws, disposable cutlery, and cotton buds.

The measure also seeks to encourage a reduction in plastic packaging and greater transparency in product labeling. Take-away boxes (typically made of expanded polystyrene) and oxo-degradable plastics (often mislabled as biodegradable) are also on the EU’s shit list.

All banned items have reusable and affordable options, such as these cotton rounds for skincare and makeup application, or these stainless steel straws to satisfy that iced coffee addiction.

Disposable water bottles did not fall under the ban, though the EU hopes to reduce waste through recycling measures. By 2025, they aim to have all disposable water bottles made up of twenty-five percent recycled materials. Do the EU one better and opt to invest in a reusable bottle (you’ll save money, the planet, and your hydration levels).

As cigarette filters rank the second-most discarded item in the EU (yet another reason to drop the habit), lawmakers are strengthening penalties for tobacco manufacturers and insisting for their involvement in recycling measures.

The EU Commission stated that the products covered in this ban account for seventy percent of the waste that ends up in our oceans, poisoning natural resources and wildlife. In light of grim research findings, this ban signals a genuine effort towards addressing climate change.

Hopefully this will inspire a global trend and lead to stricter policies outside the EU.

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