European Parliament votes to ban single-use plastics

The European Parliament voted Wednesday to approve a law banning single-use plastic items by 2021.

Under the law, items such as plastic straws, single-use plastic plates and single-use plastic cutlery will be banned in the European Union by 2021.

Voting in favor of the measure were 560 members of Parliament, while 35 voted against it and 28 abstained. 

The law bans the 10 plastics that are most frequently found on European beaches as litter.


"Today we have taken an important step to reduce littering and plastic pollution in our oceans and seas. We got this, we can do this. Europe is setting new and ambitious standards, paving the way for the rest of the world," said Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission, in a statement.

Karmenu Vella, the European Commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, said in a statement that the European Parliament should be "very proud of these new rules."

"After the favourable vote by the Parliament today, our main task will be to ensure that these ambitious measures are quickly implemented in practice, which will be common work for public authorities, producers and consumers alike," Vella added.