Coming Soon: A Pan-Europe Ban On Single Use Plastic
Image source: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/plastic_waste.htm
The word is out. One of the top-tier officials of the European Union has let out that legislation to curb the increasing amount of plastic waste in Europe is on its way. This wonderful news of a wide-scale ban on single-use plastic comes from none other than European Commission’s first vice president, Frans Timmermans.
We must be thankful to Michael Gove, Britain’s environment minister, who in his attempt to jibe at the European Commission, in turn, got out the good news from Timmermans, in advance. Gove, a fervent supporter of Brexit, had insinuated how creating and implementing environmental laws in the UK such as banning plastic straws, would be a hassle if it were under the EU. Gove gave the impression that certain measures to protect the environment that Britain would like to implement, cannot be taken while still under the EU.
The British minister’s words were, however, very well received by Timmermans, who it seems jumped at this opportunity and took to social media to send out the news of the action planned against single-use plastic across the EU. Timmermans tweeted to Gove: “One step ahead of you. EU legislation on single-use plastics coming before the summer. Maybe you can align with us?”. The former vice president’s reply was sharp, yet humorous with his choice of words that included among several others the hashtag #EUDoesntSuck!
Speaking to Sky News, Gove, citing the example of plastic straws being a scourge to the planet, took a firm stand against plastic. Exclaiming the numerous ways in which single-use plastic is polluting our oceans and damaging the marine ecosystem, the minister pointed to the urgent need for some concrete steps in-order-to protect the environment.
Image: AFP/Getty Images
Although he is not wrong in his stand against plastic, Mr Gove, however, forgot about Scotland. A part of the UK, but still very much within the European Union, Scotland, soon after banning cotton buds made of plastic, now plans to get rid of plastic straws by 2019. You can read about it here – Councils across Scotland, ban plastic straws. The fight against plastic is undoubtedly gaining voice as more and more prominent people are becoming vocal about it. Recently, David Attenborough convinced the BBC and the Queen of England to ban single-use plastic.
At a recent conference in Brussels, Timmermans pointed out the urgent need for curbing plastic consumption. Timmermans words could not be more real for Europeans, especially given that China has now decided to limit its plastic waste imports. He also stressed the importance of working together with businesses to curb plastic consumption, find efficient ways to reuse and recycle and most importantly to prevent any leakage of microplastic. And the folks in Britain need not worry, since, till the Brexit is fully implemented, the new EU legislation would apply to the UK too.
It is such news from different parts of the world that is adding a much-needed momentum to the fight against single-use plastic. Reports of one nation banning plastic straws or bags or cups etc. encourage and inspire the next nation to do the same. So let us all, first as individuals, make changes in our lifestyle to reduce plastic consumption and then, help educate others into adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle. If you feel we are on the same side, then help us spread the awareness by sharing this article with your friends.