No More Single-Use Plastic!
The war on plastic pollution has officially begun, with the recent enforcement of the European SUP directive1, the new rule puts a stop to single-use plastics from 2021 in EU countries. Let's see what really changes and just how important is our contribution as individuals.
The EU and SUPs: an ambitious directive
The EU's so-called SUP (Single-use plastic) directive was approved in 2019 and began to be enforced in July of 2021. It aims to reduce plastic pollution , particularly in the seas and oceans the world, and establishes an ambitious goal by reducing of 50% of plastics by 2025 and 80% by 2030. But, these results are not unattainable. Just think - according to some WWF estimates2, the ban on disposables alone would be enough to reduce the plastic waste load globally by 57%.
But What Is A Single-Use Plastic?
The term "plastic" is very generic. Alternatively, we should refer to "plastics" as plural, since a great variety of polymers exist, each with their own properties.
The adjective single-use (or disposable), on the other hand, is used to classify any object that we use only once and then throw away. There are countless examples in daily use, but for now not all single use objects are included in the European directive.
What Are the First Plastic Objects to be Banned?
Around ten single-use plastic products are banned with immediate effect by the SUP directive. These include plastic straws, plates, cutlery, glasses, cotton buds, swizzle sticks, balloons and expand to polystyrene containers for food and drinks.
This only represents the first step, which is to be followed by the ban of many other highly polluting products, such as plastic bottles, cigarette filters, plastic bags, snack packaging, wet wipes and feminine hygiene items.
You Also Have a Key Role to Play!
The ambitious goal of the SUP directive is not unattainable, but our contribution as individuals is critical if we are to see a successful outcome. Each of us needs to start using alternatives to single-use plastic items today. A perfect example? Opt for tap water over bottled water. When you go out, take a refillable bottle to refill at any of the public drinking fountains indicated on the Waidy WOW map. The app tells you the amount of CO2 saved each time, showing you just how important your sustainable choices are for the environment!