Several disposable plastic items banned in EU including NL
As of Saturday, several disposable plastic products such as plastic straws, cotton swabs and cutlery are no longer allowed to be sold in the Netherlands. Stricter rules will also apply to other products such as drinking cups and balloons.
The ban came as a result of new EU legislation that came into effect on July 3. “That applies to all member states, including the Netherlands”, Mariska Joustra from Milieu Centraal said to NU.nl. The legislation was introduced in an effort to combat litter and the disposal of plastic products in the sea.
The ten plastic products that were targeted in the legislation were:
- cotton swabs
- balloon holders
- stirring sticks
- drinking cups
- oxo-degradable plastic including bags, bottles and labels
Old stock of these products may still be used. The products on this list account for 70 percent of the litter from the EU that ends up in the water.
“It’s a very big turnaround for many different products”, Joustra said. “A lot has changed.” Producers of plastic bottles now also have to use more recycled material.
The EU is also working on tightening legislation around other products such as cigarette butts that are not bio-degradable. “They are not degradable and should, therefore, not end up in nature.” Cigarette butts have not been banned yet but must wear a warning that they contain plastic along with an image of a dead sea turtle.
The same warning will also appear on the packaging of wet wipes and tampons. “From 2025, the producers of these products must also discourage their consumption and contribute to the costs of their disposal”, Joustra explained.
She reminded that the responsibility also lies in the hands of the consumer. “You can buy stainless steel straws. Often reusable but cleaning also costs energy. The best straw is actually the one you don’t use”, Joustra said.
The Netherlands really also introduced a 15-cent deposit on water and soft-drink bottles.