In line with the recent bans which the UK government have put through parliament for plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers (read more about this HERE), Germany have also taken action to ban the sale of a range of single-use plastic items which will no longer be in circulation as of 3 July 2021
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the UK’s original plan to implement the ban of single-use plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers from April 2020 has had to be delayed by 6 months.
The prohibition of single-use plastic items is the first stage of standards that the European Union are requiring all Member States to follow, finalised in March 2019, and Germany are spearheading this move with their announcement. Specifically, some of the items to be no longer available to consumers in Germany include, single-use cutlery, plates, stirring sticks, and balloon holders, as well as polystyrene cups and boxes.
In Germany, 20% of waste collected from public spaces such as parks is made from single-use plastics; likely a driving factor in the country urgently taking key steps towards eradicating this throwaway culture.
In addition, the European Union’s guidelines on this topic cover specific industries such as tobacco manufacturers who are required to reduce the amount of plastic used in cigarette filters by a considerable amount, as well as the fishing equipment sector who will be affected if producing fishing nets, in terms of being responsible for paying collection charges for nets abandoned at sea.
Longer term requirements for all Member States include plastic bottles made from a minimum of 25% recycled content by 2025 and a 90% collection rate of these by 2029.
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