plastic plates, drinking straws and other disposable products made of plastic intended to be in 2021 in the EU is prohibited. This is the negotiator of the European Parliament and the EU member States have agreed on Wednesday in Brussels tomorrow final. The EU Commission had proposed in may to prohibit once for utensils, straws, cotton swabs, and other disposable articles made of plastic. It follows a worldwide Trend: India has adopted this summer, one of the strictest in the plastic laws. Now the EU.

EU-wide savings Directive 3.4 million tons of carbon dioxide and by 2030, the environmental damage of 22 billion euros are to be avoided, it says. But how is the Situation? How will the changes – and what changes for the consumer? The most important questions and answers on the topic.

How much plastic waste is produced in the EU and why is this so bad?

Every year, the Europeans produce waste about 25 million tons of plastic, as Figures from the European Commission show. Less than 30 percent of which are for recycling suitable. Worldwide, plastics account according to the Commission, a share of 85% of waste on beaches. Eight million tons of plastic each year into the oceans.

If plastic, in the forms of micro-particles, once in the environment, is to capture it will be very difficult. How the sometimes invisible Microplastics have long-term effects on living organisms, is poorly understood. What we know: the art of toxic substances to store materials, in addition to the pollutants that arise during their production. Like a sponge, the plastic parts in the sea as they absorb pollutants in full – among other things, with toxic, carcinogenic chlorine compounds.

What are the changes due to the Directive?

A whole lot of products will be prohibited by the Directive as from 2021 in the EU. This includes Cutlery, plates, straws, cotton buds and drinks stirrers made of plastic. Likewise, foamed food and beverage containers made from polystyrene are to be prohibited. Polystyrene is used in the manufacture of yogurt cups.

the use of Oxoplastik should be stopped. It contains synthetic additives that are not biodegradable. They remain in the environment and make a clean Recycling impossible.

The regulation also stipulates that plastic bottles must be recycled because if there are disposable bottles, by 2025, 90 per cent, as well as all PET plastic bottles should remain in the EU until then, made of recycled plastic.

part of the Directive, the participation of producers to the costs for the clean up of the waste. So the tobacco industry could have to pay in the future for the Collection of cigarette butts.

A ban on balloons, as it was first rejected by the green group in the European Parliament introduced, is not part of the compromise. Also, the European Commission proposed warning labels for balloons.

“There is a total of 140 million tons of plastic waste in the sea, of the air balloons from Europe, according to estimates, approximately five kilograms. I think it would be completely disproportionate to the ruin of the people, especially the children of these fun”, said Peter Liese, environmental policy spokesman for the EPP-Christian Democrats, the largest political group in the EU Parliament.

What could change for the consumer?

The consumer must, especially on eco-friendly packaging alternatives in the trade and the stringent laws set nationally. Starting in January, a new law is to reduce the in Germany the amount of waste and the recycling rates will significantly increase. Austria, too, a rigid against the plastic in front is clear: From 2020, all plastic bags should be banned. Also, the use of microplastics in cosmetic products should not, if the EU solves the Problem by 2020, independently.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.