Sea Turtles Rejoice! EU Parliament Bans Single-Use Plastics

Plastic carrier bags and other garbage pollution in ocean
Plastic carrier bags and other garbage pollution in ocean

Sea turtles and other ocean denizens can rejoice!

The European Parliament this week approved a ban on a variety of single-use plastics by a 571-53 vote.

Among the plastic items included in the ban are straws, balloon sticks, drink-stirrers, cotton buds, plates and forks and knives.

The European Commission had proposed such a ban this past spring in the wake of documentary films like the “Blue Planet” series.

After the vote, the European minister who originally sponsored the legislation, Frédérique Ries, said:

“We have adopted the most ambitious legislation against single-use plastics. It is up to us now to stay the course in the upcoming negotiations with the Council, due to start as early as November. Today’s vote paves the way to a forthcoming and ambitious directive. It is essential in order to protect the marine environment and reduce the costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe, estimated at 22 billion euros by 2030.”

For more info about the legislation, check out the European Parliament website.

To get an idea of the effect of plastics in the ocean, check out the video below of a plastic straw being removed from a sea turtle’s nose, if you can stomach it.