The EU has voted to ban all single-use plastic by 2021 3 years ago

The EU has voted to ban all single-use plastic by 2021

The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favour of banning all single-use plastic by 2021.

This includes all throw-away plastic food containers, cutlery, straws, stirrers, plates, and cotton bud sticks.


560 MEPs voted in favour of the agreement on Wednesday with 35 voting against and 28 abstaining.

The move hopes to encourage more recycling and the use of more sustainable products across the EU.

Members states are also expected to achieve a 90 percent collection target for plastic bottles by 2029. By 2025, plastic bottles will have to contain at least 25 percent recycled material and 30 percent by 2030.

According to the European Commission, up to 80 percent of marine little is plastic.


All of the products included in the 2021 single-use ban makes up 70 percent of this litter because of its slow rate of decomposition.

“This legislation will reduce the environmental damage bill by €22 billion - the estimated cost of plastic pollution in Europe until 2030," said lead MEP Frédérique Ries.

"Europe now has a legislative model to defend and promote at international level, given the global nature of the issue of marine pollution involving plastics. This is essential for the planet.”


The full list of items that will be banned in the EU from 2021 is:

  • Single-use plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks)
  • Single-use plastic plates
  • Plastic straws
  • Cotton bud sticks made of plastic
  • Plastic balloon sticks
  • Oxo-degradable plastics and food containers and expanded polystyrene cups

This comes just a few months after an upsetting image of a seal with a plastic bag stuck on its head led to a fresh call for an all-out ban on the product.

The seal was swimming in the bag at Brixham Harbour in Devon, England for 15 minutes before it managed to free itself.