In 2018, after 13 hours of negotiations, the European Union agreed to ban single-use plastic. Single-use plastic includes cotton swabs, plastic dishes and drinking straws. All of these products will disappear from the market in the future if no sustainable alternatives are used. The ban is intended to make the world's oceans cleaner. According to the EU, 26 million tons of plastic waste are generated in Europe every year. The ban comes from the proposal of the EU Commission from May 2018. Reduction targets were also called for so that less plastic will be used in food packaging in the future.
Plastic drinking straw ban from when in the EU?
The new directive is to be implemented throughout the EU from 2021. The following products are to be banned:
- Plastic drinking straws (straws made from renewable raw materials such as those from Wisefood are of course still permitted and are increasingly in demand)
- disposable plates
- disposable cutlery
🧃 Sustainable edible straws
🥇 Made in Germany
🌳 Grain & apple fiber from Germany
🚫 Plastic-free drinking straws & EU compliant
🕑 Stable for about 60 minutes - in cold and alcoholic drinks even up to two hours
Companies are phasing out plastic
Numerous customers of wisefood are already relying on our sustainable alternative
- before the official ban on plastic drinking straws. Our straws can now be found in numerous hotels (e.g. Mercure Hotel in Stuttgart), in restaurants or in retail stores, such as REWE or EDEKA. Large fast-food chains are also already examining alternatives. Starbucks, for example, has announced that it will do away with the plastic straw by 2020. At Wisefood we help numerous large companies to switch to sustainable drinking straws.
Bans in other countries
More and more countries are banning plastic straws and other single-use products. Bans have already been implemented or are planned in the following countries:
Kenya, Africa: there has been a law banning plastic bags since 2017. This is to prevent the blockage of drains and watercourses, which is responsible for the major pollution of drinking water.
New Delhi, India: all disposable bags have been banned since 2012! Other Indian cities and districts are also participating in plastic bans.
Italy: plastic bags have been banned since 2011. Only bags made from biodegradable materials are allowed.
Rwanda, Africa: Since 2008 there has been a strict ban regulating the import, production, sale and possession of plastic bags.
San Francisco, USA: Plastic bags have been banned since 2017. The use of plastic bottles is also only permitted to a limited extent.
Bangladesh: Thin plastic bags have been banned since 2002. It was the first country in the world to enact such a plastic ban. The reason for this was the clogging of drainage systems.
China: Free plastic bags have been banned since 2008 to discourage irresponsible use. The production of thin plastic bags was completely banned.
Bali, Indonesia : Bali has a major litter problem which has prompted the government to ban all single use plastic such as grocery bags, straws and tableware from summer 2019. This is intended to reduce the amount of waste around the island.
Rubbish on the beaches of Bali and Indonesia (video)
Incidentally, we went to Bali with wisefood last year to see the littered beaches. What we saw there really shocked us - miles and miles of just plastic waste! We shot a video to show you what's going on away from the cleaned up tourist beaches.
We also took numerous photos and close-ups, which clearly show that a large part of the litter was caused by plastic drinking straws. We support the increasing number of plastic straw bans and are sure that with the increasing consumption of oursustainable drinking straw
, the beaches around the world can become a little cleaner again.
Plastic is one of the biggest environmental problems of our time. Above all, disposable plastic items pollute our seas and beaches, many animals mistake the plastic for food and die from it. In order to protect our oceans, the European Union presented a new plastic strategy for all EU member states in 2018.
The new single-use plastic ban will come into effect on July 3, 2021. fall under
At Wisefood, we care about the environment, which is why we made it our mission in 2017 to significantly reduce single-use plastic consumption. That's why we produce edible, sustainable disposable tableware exclusively from renewable raw materials such as grain and by-products of food production, such as apple pomace from apple juice production.
With our sustainable, edible SUPERHALM drinking straw, we have already replaced more than 100 million plastic straws and plan to replace more than a billion straws worldwide by 2022 . Apart from our Zero Waste SUPERHALM, we offer edible spoons, stirrers and chop sticks. We have to actively reduce our single-use plastic consumption and sustainable alternatives are the way to do it, and the EU is finally seeing that.
- Plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks)
- Plastic dishes (plates, bowls)
- plastic straws
- Styrofoam (polystyrene) packaging for hot food and drinks
- Plastic cotton swabs
- various disposable products made from bio-plastic.
Single-use plastic products will be banned in the EU from July 2021. As a result, cotton swabs, plastic plates, plastic cutlery and straws will disappear from the market. Disposable tableware such as cups and containers made of foamed polystyrene and plastics that break down into microplastics will soon be history and replaced by reusable alternatives. In Germany, the changing times can already be felt. There is finally a rethinking in the minds of consumers.
Strange but true!
There are various estimates of how many straws just end up in the garbage every day after a single use. On average, there are between four and seven billion worldwide. Of course, this is difficult to verify. However, the fact is: every plastic straw that pollutes our environment is one too many.
Around three billion drinking straws are washed ashore on coasts and beaches every year. On their way there, the plastic straws cause irreparable damage to the ecosystem. In 2015, for example, a YouTube video drew attention to the fatal effects of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans. It shows scientists removing a plastic straw from a turtle's nose. Unfortunately, this tortoise is not an isolated case, but just a frightening example of thousands and thousands of other species that suffer or even die miserably due to the unnecessary lifestyle of humans.
Why are plastic drinking straws so dangerous for our environment?
Plastic straws are a disposable product that just end up in the trash after a short use. For decades, the stalk was part of our everyday lives and no one really gave a thought to what the little thing was doing to our environment. Now, however, we should all answer the question: does a product really make sense that takes over 500 years to break down into its individual parts for a short period of use and then causes further damage as microplastics? Clearly, each individual will answer this question with a resounding «no».
Of course, any kind of plastic waste that pollutes our environment is harmful. However, the shape and weight of a plastic straw are the problem. Because the polypropylene used for production is actually recyclable. However, recycling machines find it difficult to collect the fine stalks. The tubes thus hinder the recycling process, get wedged in the machine parts and can destroy them. The end of the story: they are not recycled but sent to landfill or an incinerator.
Unfortunately, in most cases, the way to the destination is very long. Outdoor storage, such as at ports, is not uncommon. Each of us can imagine how much cargo, particularly light, such as plastic drinking straws, can get lost on the journey to the destination and end up in the water. Once that's the case, and we know it's happening on a daily basis, it's not far off the road to our oceans. A ban on plastic items was long overdue.