By 2021, common plastic beach litter such as food containers and expanded polystyrene cups will all be banned in a bid to reduce plastic pollution and reduce the environmental damage bill..

The ban will also target oxo-degradable plastics, which has been criticised by a number of organisations including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation..

A total of 560 MEPs voted in favour of the agreement, with 35 against and 28 abstaining..

EU member states will have to achieve a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029, with a minimum of 30% recycled content by 2030..

The UK will have to adhere to the EU legislation if it extends its Brexit negotiating process.


Environment secretary Michael Gove has already promised to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds..

The EU legislation also introduces extended producer responsibility for tobacco and fishing gear to ensure manufacturers, not anglers, bear the costs of collecting nets lost at sea..

Frédérique Ries, lead MEP, said: “This legislation will reduce the environmental damage bill by €22 billion – the estimated cost of plastic pollution in Europe until 2030..

“Europe now has a legislative model to defend and promote at international level, given the global nature of the issue of marine pollution involving plastics. This is essential for the planet.”.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced in October 2018 that there would be a tax on the manufacturing and import of plastic packaging which contains less than 30% recycled plastics..

More than 80% of marine litter is plastics, according to the European Commission.

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