CLEANER BEACHES AND SEAS IN THE FUTURE AS SINGLE USE PLASTIC ITEMS BANNED IN IRELAND

CLEANER BEACHES AND SEAS IN THE FUTURE AS SINGLE USE PLASTIC ITEMS BANNED IN IRELAND

Plastic straws, cotton bud sticks and plastic cutlery banned as part of EU Directive

 

Irish beaches and seas can expect to become cleaner as single use plastic items are banned in Ireland. There are also new regulations planned for balloon, crisp and wet-wipe packaging.

 

The EU’s Single Use Plastic (SUP) Directive has now come into force and it delivers on the EU’s plastic strategy. Any countries that do not respect these obligations will be fined. Items made from expanded polystyrene are no longer permitted to be sold in the EU. Single-use plastics are produced to be used once and as they are used for such a short time they are more likely to be thrown away on beaches and in seas.

 

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said: “Single use plastics can cause a lot of damage to the environment. These products are used once and then thrown away and are likely then to end up in our seas causing a lot of damage. I welcome the ban on these items and the EU is aiming to become a forerunner in the global fight against marine litter and plastic pollution. I also welcome the news that there are new packaging requirements for other items such as wet-wipes planned to come into force.

 

“EU rules on single-use plastic products are aiming to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment and it is important that we all play our part. The EU rules also aim to promote the transition to a circular economy.”

 

The 10 most commonly found single-use plastic items on European beaches, alongside fishing gear, represent 70% of all marine litter in the EU. Specific targets for the Directive include a 77% separate collection target for plastic bottles by 2025 and increasing to 90% by 2029.

 

There are also plans in the longer term for items such as balloons, plastic bags and crisp packets and the Directive has asked producers to contribute to awareness-raising and clean-up actions and introduce new labelling on the environmental impact of the product and recycling options for consumers. Also there are new labelling requirements for sanitary towels and wet wipes to inform consumers on the environmental impact of the product and how to dispose of it properly. These will be rolled out over the coming years.

 

The 10 items being addressed by the Directive are

  • Cotton bud sticks

  • Cutlery, plates, straws and stirrers

  • Balloons and sticks for balloons

  • Food containers

  • Cups for beverages

  • Beverage containers

  • Cigarette butts

  • Plastic bags

  • Packets and wrappers

  • Wet wipes and sanitary items

 

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