EU proposes ban on plastic straws, cutlery

EU proposes ban on plastic straws, cutlery
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The European Union on Monday unveiled a proposed ban on single-use plastic items like straws and cutlery in an attempt to limit plastic pollution.

The draft rules would ban the 10 single-use plastic products that make up 70 percent of all marine litter, according to a news release. Plastic cotton swabs, plates and drink stirrers are also included in the ban.

The proposed rules will also require manufacturers of plastic products to help cover the cost of waste management and cleanup. Companies will also be given incentives to create alternatives for other plastic products such as cups and plastic bags.

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The measure would need to be approved by all EU member states and the European Parliament. CNN reported that it could three or four years for the rules to go into effect.

Bans on plastic items like straws have grown in popularity. The United Kingdom announced last month that it would begin banning plastic straws as soon as next year, making it the first country to adopt such a measure.

Some U.S. cities including Seattle and Malibu, Calif., have also banned the straws.