BRUSSELS, July 6, 2020 (Fastmarkets RISI) -Germany's federal cabinet has launched a regulation to ban single-use plastic products. In the future, the sale and use of certain products for which environmentally friendly alternatives exist will be prohibited. Among them are, for example, disposable cutlery and plates, drinking straws, stirrers, cotton buds and balloon sticks. To-go food containers and cups made of styrofoam and all products made of oxo-degradable plastic will also be banned.
"With today's cabinet decision we are taking an important national step in the fight against the plastic flood. I am certain that this ban will soon lead to better, innovative and environmentally friendly products and solutions," Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said in a statement in late June. "We have to get away from the throw-away culture," she added.
According to the European Commission, the now banned products are among the most common plastic objects found on European beaches. The association of municipal enterprises in Germany estimates that they account for some 10-20% of waste in parks, public places and streets, with styrofoam food and beverage packaging having the largest share.
The new regulation, which is still subject to approval by parliament, serves to implement the corresponding EU directive into national law. The ban is to enter into force across Europe on July 3, 2021. The sale of existing inventories, partly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, remains permitted to avoid the destruction of disposable products.