Our oceans may breathe a sigh of relief soon, after an overwhelming-majority of MEPs voted to ban single-use plastics across the European Union.
Focusing on eliminating plastic objects for which there is an alternative, the proposal only had 53 opponents of some 600 voters.
The ban, which some have called overambitious, will cover straws, plastic plates and cutlery, cotton swaps and balloon ties among other commonly-used plastics. Where there is no currently-existing alternative for plastic, the EU’s pressure will see each country in the bloc drop production by 25%.
The proposal also comes with a plan to sharply increase the recycling of bottles by 2025, as well as amendments that could drop the plastic used in cigarettes by 80% till the year 2050.
Frédérique Ries, the MEP who championed the proposal called yesterday’s vote a “victory for our oceans and future generations”.
Many attribute this huge wave of change to the phenomenal response to David Attenborough’s BBC Documentary, Blue Planet II, which took a hardline stance against plastic and showed the disgusting reality in our oceans we rarely get to see.