The list of rules on single-use plastic products and fishing gear has been developed by the European Commission and has now been adopted by the Council of the European Union. These rules are designed to reduce marine pollution.
These are the main points:
Certain single-use plastic products such as cotton bud sticks, drinking straws or plastic sticks for balloons, food packaging and beverage containers/cups made of expanded polystyrene as well as all products made of oxo-degradable plastics will be banned as there exist alternatives on the market.
For other products, such as certain food packaging or plastic beverage cups, specific measures to reduce consumption – including labelling – will be adopted.
Extended producer responsibility schemes will be implemented to cover the costs of clean-up operations.
Product design rules will be introduced requiring caps to be firmly attached to beverage bottles.
At least 90 percent of plastic bottles must be collected separately by 2029 (77 percent by 2025).
The proportion of recycled plastic in PET bottles must be 25 percent by 2025. By 2030, all plastic bottles must contain 30 percent recycled plastic.
Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President and responsible for sustainable development said: "There is a growing sense of urgency in European society to do whatever it takes to stop plastic pollution in our oceans. The European Union is responding to this clear call of our citizens. We have taken ambitious steps by introducing concrete measures to reduce the use of single-use plastics. The new rules adopted today will help us to protect the health of our people and safeguard our natural environment, while promoting more sustainable production and consumption. We can all be proud that Europe is setting new and ambitious standards, paving the way for the rest of the world."