All plastic products like knives, forks, cups, plates and cotton bud sticks are to be banned in Ireland. Cops sticks, stirrers and plastic food containers will also get the boot.
It is all part of a new EU clampdown on SUP (single use plastic products) which was passed by all member states two years ago and comes into force this weekend. These plastic products are among the ten most commonly found in the sea and account for a staggering 70pc of marine litter in the EU.
The new law is known as the Single Use Plastic Directive – (EU) 2019/904 and is aimed at reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. Each EU state including Ireland has agreed to bring in a sweeping range of measures to tackle single use plastic items.
The Department of the Environment and Climate Action confirmed that cotton bud sticks, plastic cutlery, plates and straws can not be sold on the Irish market . And then next year from July 3, 2024 a ban on bottles and containers up to 3 litres will come in unless a cap is attached to the main part of the container. But January 5 next year the producers of packages will be required to cover the cost of litter clean ups, in addition to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) obligations for food containers, wrappers, cups and light weight carrier bags.
The EU Commission will provide guidance how this will be calculated. The producer of tobacco products containing plastic will also be subjected to an EPR scheme if they don’t get rid of them. The same rule will apply to the producers of balloons, wet wipes and fishing gear if they don’t eliminate plastic in their products and packages by Dec 31,2024.
The EU hopes the elimination of plastic from the single market will help clean up the oceans across the continent