Single-use plastic ban in Europe by next summer; what’s it about?

In July 2021 it’s here; the ban on single-use plastic in the European Union. The ban is on products that are thrown away after its first usage, and the main goal is to reduce the plastic soup.

single use plastic pollution, plastic ban the netherlandsPlastic pollution remains a problem. The European Union comes with strict measures to tackle the issue.

But what is still allowed, and what isn’t? Blue Marché lists which products the ban applies to and what the alternatives are. This way you and your company will not be in for any surprises when the ban is implemented.

Less plastic pollution

The main aim of this ban is to reduce plastic pollution. It’s estimated that 80% of the pollution present in our oceans consists out of plastic. Of all that plastic, 70% of it are products the ban will apply to.

Plastic in the ocean
Plastic barely perishes. When it finds its way towards the ocean, it’ll swim around for a long time. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a large amount of plastic is found in stomachs of various marine animals.

 **Read our article about plastic pollution.**

The microplastics can be ingested by tiny organisms living in the ocean. This way, plastic finds its way into our food chain easily. There are multiple indicators that plastic has a negative effect on our bodies. As a precaution, the European Union created the ban.

What is banned?  

But, which products exactly does the ban apply to? It applies to all single-use plastic, so products made with the intention to be thrown away right after their first usage. But be aware: it also applies to so-called bioplastic single-used products!

This is the list of items published by the EU:

  • Single-use plastic cutlery (spoons, forks, knives, stirring sticks and chopsticks);
  • Single-use plastic plates;
  • Plastic straws;
  • Cotton bud sticks containing plastic;
  • Plastic balloon sticks;
  • Food containers and cups made of expanded polystyrene;
  • Oxo-degradable plastics. (Bioplastics)

Bioplastics
At the bottom of the list you’ll find oxo-degradable plastics, better known as bioplastics. Bioplastics are made of natural raw materials such as cane sugar, corn or potatoes.  This type of plastic breaks down under the influence of sunlight and water. It falls apart into tiny pieces, but these pieces are still plastic that will roam around. It’s these pieces especially that will easily find their way into soil or water.

It’s important as a company to be aware that single-use bioplastics is banned as well. Plastic bags containing the bio mark are better left unpurchased from now on.

Alternatives for single-use plastic Straws

If you have been using single-use plastic for years now, it might seem like a big task to go plastic-free as a company. Reusable products aren’t always the answer either; think about when you deliver a meal to a customer.

But don’t get discouraged just yet, because there are more and more alternatives becoming available. Think about our kraft take-away boxes. Or what about straws made from wheat and reed straw? Keep serving your cocktails worry free, and help the environment while you’re at it. Win-win!

 

 

Plastic-free future
The ban will be effective in Europe from 3 July 2021 the European union, so also in the Netherlands. All companies living in one of the EU member states will have to provide an alternative by then.

This way the European Union hopes to contribute towards limiting the plastic pollution. The problem keeps expanding, so hard measures like these are necessary. The legislation is part of an EU initiative agreed by European Environment Ministers and the European Parliament. All EU member states, including the Netherlands, are required to include this directive in their national legislation.

As a company it can be a tough job to replace all of your plastic single-use products. But it’s possible, especially with the growing number of alternatives available.

If you want to take a look at the possibilities without any obligations, feel free to shoot us a message. We’ll gladly take a look at how we can help your company go plastic-free.