Tuesday 28 January, 2020

European officials agree on ban of some single-use plastics

In this June 18, 2016 file photo two Belgian fans, wearing the Belgian colors, walk through plastic cups and other garbage after taking part in a celebration in Antwerp, Belgium, after Belgium won its Euro 2016 Group E match against Ireland. European Union officials have agreed to ban some single-use plastics, such as disposable cutlery, plates and straws, in an effort to cut marine pollution. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, file)

In this June 18, 2016 file photo two Belgian fans, wearing the Belgian colors, walk through plastic cups and other garbage after taking part in a celebration in Antwerp, Belgium, after Belgium won its Euro 2016 Group E match against Ireland. European Union officials have agreed to ban some single-use plastics, such as disposable cutlery, plates and straws, in an effort to cut marine pollution. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, file)

European Union officials have agreed to ban some single-use plastics, such as disposable cutlery, plates and straws, in an effort to cut marine pollution.

Representatives from the EU's 28 member states and the European Parliament said Wednesday they're following a recommendation made earlier this year by the bloc's executive branch.

Once the ban is formally approved, countries will have two years to implement it.

The measure will also affect plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers, balloon sticks, and single-use plastic and polystyrene food and beverage containers.

The EU also wants to increase the use of recycled plastic and reduce the amount of tiny plastic particles released from wet wipes, cigarette stubs and other items.

There is growing concern about the accumulation of so-called microplastics in the oceans.

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