Plastic utensils, straws, coffee stirrers and cotton swabs may soon be a lot harder to come by in Europe. The EU Commission presented a draft directive to ban the single-use products in the fight against plastic waste.
The European Commission proposed new EU-wide rules on Monday aimed at reducing plastic pollution in cities and oceans by banning several plastic products.
EU officials noted that the single-use plastic objects and fishing gear accounts for 70 percent of trash in the ocean and that the move towards "innovative alternatives" could create some 30,000 jobs.
What they are proposing
In their draft directive, the EU Commission took aim at the top 10 single-use plastic products that wash up on Europe's beaches and are found in its seas:
A ban on the private use of disposable plastic products like straws, plastic plates, plastic utensils, plastic coffee stirrers, cotton swabs with plastic stems and plastic balloon holders.
Curbing the use of plastic cups for beverages as well as plastic food containers, such as the ones used for take-away.
Producers of certain products will be required to help cover the costs of clean-up and waste treatment, including: tobacco products with filters (such as cigarette butts), plastic bags, candy wrappers, potato chip packages and wet wipes.