File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
The European Union on Monday presented a directive aimed at curbing the use of plastic in cities and oceans by banning several single-use plastic products, found mostly on beaches.
Single-use plastic products such as straws, cutlery, cotton buds will be banned while urging the collection of most plastic drinks bottles by 2025.
The commission vice president said that the products won't be off the market but will be made by different materials. The commissioners have warned that if nothing is done, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050.
"Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem," EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said.
"Today's proposals will reduce single-use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures," Timmermans added.
Member states must reduce the use of plastic food containers and drinks cups, by promoting alternatives for sale or ensuring they are not offered free.
Under the plan, producers must contribute to the costs of waste management and will be offered incentives to develop less polluting alternatives.
For example, it calls for producers of plastic fishing gear to cover the cost of waste collection from port reception facilities.
The plan calls for producers to clearly label products and inform consumers how the waste should be disposed of.
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said businesses will benefit from one set of rules for an EU market of around 500 million people.