Home | News | Europe: Goodbye, single-use plastics!

Single-use cutlery, cotton buds, drinking straws and stirrers made of traditional plastic – these types of disposable products have now been consigned to the past thanks to the ban on single-use plastics introduced throughout Europe as of 3 July. Disposable takeaway cups and single-use polystyrene containers are no longer allowed to be produced or put on the market in the EU either. The new rule was adopted in response to the growing global challenge of plastic waste of which the region of East and South-East Asia is particularly hard hit.

With its advisory activities, pilot projects, workshops, conferences and webinars, ‘Rethinking Plastics’ works on finding solutions for the global challenge in its seven partner countries, where the interest is high for policy and implementation experiences. Reducing and avoiding single-use plastics is one of the key topics of the project and its pilots, for example in the Indonesian city of Bandung. There, Gerakan Indonesia Diet Kantong Plastik (GIDKP), the Indonesian movement to reduce plastic bags, aims to reduce the use of plastic bags in traditional markets.

‘Our efforts to encourage local governments and economic actors to reduce the use of plastic bags and other single-use plastics are designed to protect the environment against plastic pollution. This is a specific measure to realise regional waste reduction goals – 30 per cent by 2025 – and of course to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals’,

explains Rayhang Nusantara, national coordinator of GIDKP. The project in Bandung has already achieved some initial success: in the first four months, hundreds of market stands were involved in surveys on the baseline situation and some of their customers have already been convinced to take reusable bags. In addition, a debate was held on alternative solutions to single-use plastic bags with market traders and suppliers of alternative packaging. After all, if the project is to be successful, it is vital to involve the population and to cooperate with local partners in order to create awareness about avoiding waste.

You can read more about the European Union Policies here