Plastic straws and bottles, takeaway coffee cups, and plastic containers are among the items banned by the E.U. this week.
We all know the detrimental impact of single-use plastics on our environment and ecosystems. As governments wake up to what needs to be done, these are the common single-use plastic items now banned in Ireland.
The initiative put forth by the E.U. seeks to reduce the impact on the environment by limiting our use of these materials. Polystyrene, in particular, has been the target of the new laws.
Looking after the natural world – reducing our impact
We have all seen the pictures of what were once stunning beaches covered in litter and helpless animals trapped in plastic pack rings. So, we can all understand why these common single-use plastic items have now been banned in Ireland.
The ten items most commonly found single-use plastic items, alongside fishing gear, found on beaches around Europe account for 70% of all marine little in the E.U.
These include cotton bud sticks, disposable cutlery, plates, straws, and stirrers, and balloons and rods for balloons. Other items include food containers, plastic drinking cups, and drinks containers. Plus, cigarette butts, plastic bags, packets and wrappers, wet wipes, and sanitary items.
These ten items have been outlined explicitly because more sustainable alternatives are currently readily available and affordable.
A major step – moving away from single-use plastics
The laws that mean common single-use plastic items are now banned in Ireland is a massive step in the right direction.
The directive, known as the Single-Use Plastics (SUP) Directive, requires the 27 E.U. member states to ban the sale of these items. Plus, although not a member of the E.U., Norway will implement these laws as part of the European Economic Area.
For other single-use plastics not specifically outlined, the directive is focusing on limiting their use. Measures include reducing consumption through awareness-raising measures and introducing new design requirements.
Labelling requirements will also be introduced to inform consumers about the plastic content of products and disposal options to avoid. Consumers will also be informed of harm done to nature due to littering. Waste management and clean-up obligations will also be implemented for producers.
Cleaning up Ireland’s beaches – banning plastic
This is not only an important measure to help protect vital ecosystems and our health. The law also stating common single-use plastic items are now banned in Ireland will also help clean up Ireland’s beaches. Thus, making trips to the seaside a much more enjoyable experience.
Speaking to Joe.ie, 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. They are likely then to end up in our seas, causing a lot of damage.
“I welcome the ban on these items. The E.U. 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.”