Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters. This story was originally published by Yale E360 and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. In Europe, beachgoers have grown accustomed to the dispiriting sight of plastic garbage strewn along shorelines. Indeed, 85 percent of the continent’s saltwater beaches and seas exceed pollution standards on marine litter. The Mediterranean Sea is the most defiled of all , with researchers collecting an average of 274 pieces of plastic refuse per 100 meters of shoreline. And beneath the waves, microplastics have turned coastal waters into toxic “plastic soups.” In an all-out push to clean up Europe’s beaches—one plank in the European Union’s trailblazing efforts to address the almost 28 million U.S. tons of plastic waste it generates annually—a ban comes into effect July 3 that halts the sale in EU markets of the 10 plastic products that most commonly wash up on the continent’s shores. These include, among other items, plastic bottle caps, cutlery, straws and plates, as well as Styrofoam food and beverage containers. The ban is the most visible sign […]

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