The EU’s plastics ban aims to banish toxic waste from its beaches — including this one near Odessa on the Black Sea The great packaging purge has begun. Ten single-use plastic (SUP) products that for years have blighted Europe’s beaches will be largely banned from July 3 as the EU’s Single-Use Plastics Directive of 2019 comes into force. Plastic cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, balloon sticks and polystyrene drink and food vessels cannot be sold as of Saturday. Also getting binned are oxo-degradable plastic bags that are marketed as biodegradable but which, according to the EU, break down into microplastics that long remain in the environment. These disposable plastics make up around 70% of marine litter in Europe. Cafes and restaurants will now be forced to stock cups and straws made of bamboo, cellulose or other biodegradable materials. But not all has been outlawed as part of the plastics reforms. SUP bags, bottles, beverage and food containers for immediate consumption, packets and wrappers, tobacco filters, sanitary items and wet wipes will still instead be restricted, while producers will have to pay for the clean-up and institute awareness campaigns about their environmental impact. The end goal is an […]

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