The Netherlands to ban many single-use plastics by next summer
Good news for the environment! The Netherlands will ban a number of single-use plastic products from July 2021, in an effort to protect our beaches and oceans.
Single-use plastic ban in the Netherlands
The legislation will come into effect on July 3 2021, and aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste that pollutes our seas. Products that will be banned include plastic plates, cutlery, stirrers, and straws. Alongside the ban, other measures will also be introduced to reduce single-use plastic consumption, including improved recycling possibilities for plastic products, and better information about reusable alternatives.
Minister for the Environment Stientje van Veldhoven said this ban was a good step towards tackling the so-called plastic soup (plastic soep) in the world's oceans. The ban follows other steps already taken by the Dutch government to try to help the environment and reduce waste, like banning free plastic shopping bags in 2016.
The future of plastic in Europe
The legislation is part of an EU initiative agreed by European Environment Ministers and the European Parliament. All EU member states, including the Netherlands, are required to include this directive in their national legislation. For example, Germany has introduced a similar ban on single-use plastics in an attempt to tackle throw-away culture.
More long term measures will also be introduced as part of this initiative. For example, from 2024 caps and lids must be attached to plastic bottles and packaging so as to improve recycling, and from 2025 plastic bottles must consist of at least 25 percent recycled plastic.