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7/27/2020 | 1 MINUTE READ

Germany to Ban Single-Use Plastics

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Cabinet approves ban on single-use plastic products ahead of E.U. measures due in 2021.

German officials have voted to end the use of a number of throwaway plastic products in Europe’s biggest economy starting in July of next year as European Union member states prepare to implement the ban throughout the trading bloc.

The German cabinet approved the ban in late June, but the measures require the approval of legislators in Berlin’s lower and upper houses. The proposal prohibits the sale of goods such as straws, coffee stirrers, cotton swabs like Q-Tips, disposable cutlery, fast-food packaging and other products generally used only once, with officials naming polystyrene as one material to be eliminated.

If passed, the German ban will also cover throwaway cups and plates made of “biologically based or biodegradable plastics,” the government said in a statement.

The E.U. parliament voted in March of last year to ban a range of single-use plastic products—including those made of oxodegradable plastics—throughout the 27-nation trading bloc in July 2021.

The E.U. law also says member states will have to achieve a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029, and plastic bottles will have to contain at least 25% of recycled content by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Furthermore, “Labeling on the negative environmental impact of throwing cigarettes with plastic filters in the street should be mandatory, as well as for other products such as plastic cups, wet wipes and sanitary napkins,” the E.U. said in a statement.

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