The year 2021 brings a definitive prohibition on placing single-use products made of plastics on the European Union market. The time for the final farewell will come on July 3.
The availability of plastics and their durability contributed to their widespread use. Unfortunately, this durability - so attractive for producers - leads to the fact, that every year more and more plastic waste accumulates in seas and oceans. Plastic residues are found in many species of marine animals, what indicate that they enter the food chain, indirectly affecting human health as well. In the aquatic environment, under the influence of UV rays and waves plastic transforms into microplastic, which is more and more often detected in food products, e.g. in sea salt and fish. Environmental pollution negatively affects also various activities, including tourism, fishing and shipping.
According to calculations, plastic waste can constitute up to 85% of all marine litter, from which only 1/3 is recycled. These statistics are worrying, that is why was created the Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, so-called The Single-Use Plastics Directive. The fight against marine litter requires common action, and the directive creates the action plan for the Member States of the European Union.
From January 1, 2021, single-use plastic products will gradually disappear from the European market. According to The Single-Use Plastics Directive, the time to dispose of stored supplies is set until July 3. After that date, it will be illegal to place them on the market. The eliminated products include plastic cutlery, stirrers, cups, plates and straws, take-out packaging, hygienic sticks and balloon sticks.