To stop pollution entering the world’s oceans, the European Parliament have voted to ban single-use plastics. By 2021, items such as plastic cutlery, cotton buds and straws will be abolished.
Plastic remnants can be found worldwide in places they shouldn’t be, from farm fertilisers to ice in the Arctic sea. Plastic has even made its way into the human food chain because of sea life consumption.
The extent of the effect plastic has on our health as well as animals is unknown. Thousands of birds, seals and whales die every year in Europe from beach waste alone. A quarter of this is caused by fishing gear.
Over 70 per cent of marine litter is caused by single-use plastics, all of which have safer alternatives.
Frederique Ries, the Belgian Liberalist who was responsible for the bill said:
“It is essential in order to protect the marine environment and reduce the costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe, estimated at €22bn (£19bn) by 2030.”
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