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Spoon ban

EU proposes ban on plastic cutlery, straws, and more

The European Commission on Monday proposed a ban on plastic straws, cutlery, plates, and other single-use items as part of an ongoing push to reduce carbon emissions and marine litter. "Plastic can be fantastic but we need to use it more responsibly," Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said in a statement. "Today's proposals will help business and consumers to move towards sustainable alternatives."

The ban is subject to approval by EU governments and the European Parliament, Bloomberg reports. Member states also would have to cut back on the use of plastic food containers and drink cups by barring them from being given out at no charge.

Some plastic products take 1,000 years to decompose, and the EU is trying to encourage companies to reuse more of them with such policies as requiring member states to collect 90 percent of single-use plastic drink bottles by 2025.