The European Parliament has voted for a wide-ranging ban on single-use plastics, to tackle the increasing amount of plastic pollution that ends up in waterways, the ocean and landfill. Under the plans, many plastic products including disposable plates and cutlery, plastic straws and cotton buds will be eliminated by 2021, with a target of 90% of plastic bottles being recycled by 2025.
The ban was initially proposed in May, following a wave of public opposition to single-use plastic swept across the continent. The legislation passed 571 votes to 53. The regulations will now have to be approved in talks with each member state, some of which could push back against the rules, however it is widely expected to be passed into law by the end of 2018.