Günther Oettinger, the EU Budget Commissioner, defended a proposed fine on member states who fail to recycle more plastic, telling the Funke Media Group: "This creates an incentive for national politicians to examine how plastic waste can be reduced - through bans, education, a national tax or a fee for plastic shopping bags".
The European Commission says that this effort is in order to move the economy away from using these types of products.
WWF now urges the European Parliament and Council to raise the ambition, set clearer prevention and reduction targets to ensure a level playing field across the EU, and include additional measures to reduce plastic from fishing activities.
Plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers, and sticks for balloons will all have to be made exclusively from more sustainable materials instead, while single-use drinks containers made with plastic will only be allowed on the market if their caps and lids remain attached, according to the first proposal on plastics regulations, presented by the European Commission. The objective of the EC is to reduce the use of plastic, including to reduce the pollution they of seas and oceans, as this is a serious problem, not only for fish and marine life but also for humans. Additionally, as the legislation progresses, lobbying pressure from plastics manufacturers will grow.
Italy scrambles for political solution with new vote on horizon
Conte's decision to step aside leaves Italy in a political crisis almost three months after March's inconclusive general election. Yields on 10 year Italian government bonds have fallen 7.4 basis points to 2.98 today, having peaked at 3.45 yesterday.
"Plastic product bans are not the solution", it said in a statement, and noted that "alternative products may not be more sustainable".
The industry body for plastics in Europe said bans will not achieve the structural change needed. "So we either recycle it, or we thermally recycle it". Offsetting this, the Commission argues that consumers will save around €6.5 billion, and the governments will save around €22 billion in environmental cleanup costs.
"Public awareness can only go so far", Meadhbh Bolger of Friends of the Earth Europe said. We've seen the price of oil is so cheap that it's cheap to produce plastics. "It could take three or four years for the rules to come into force", reported CNN Money on Monday.
 The European Environmental Bureau is a member of Rethink Plastic alongside ClientEarth, ECOS, the Environmental Investigation Agency, Friends of the Earth Europe, Seas at Risk, Surfrider Foundation Europe and Zero Waste Europe.
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