UK presses ahead with ban on single-use plastics

Plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton buds will be banned in the UK from next April, the government has confirmed in its latest attempt to stem the flow of waste and promote the use of recyclable materials. The move comes amid a spate of targeted action on the use of single use plastic. On Monday, Amazon-owned retailer Whole Foods said it would remove all plastic straws from its stores in the US, UK and Canada by July of this year…

Greek market gears up to adjust to single-use plastics ban

The Greek market appears ready to rise to the challenge set by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis regarding a forthcoming ban on all single-use plastics, business representatives told Xinhua. Mitsotakis announced last Monday from New York, where he was for the UN Climate Action Summit, that single-use plastics will be banned across Greece as of 2021…

France to phase out single-use plastics starting January 1

Starting January 1, three single-use plastic products will be banned in France: plates, cups, and cotton buds. More will be banned next year, marking the first steps toward the government’s goal of phasing out all single-use plastics by 2040…

New Zealand stores face massive fines as draconian ban on plastic bags comes into force

Draconian new powers outlawing single-use plastic bags come into force in New Zealand on Monday with retailers facing a fine of up to £52,000 (NZ$100,000) if they hand them to customers. The ban encompasses not only lightweight plastic bags, but also thicker versions handed out by department stores and even “environmentally friendly” biodegradable and compostable options.    However, it will be left to shoppers themselves to police the law and report offenders..

Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021

Canada will ban “harmful” single-use plastics as early as 2021 in a bid to reduce ocean waste, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced. This initiative is modelled on similar legislation passed last year by the European Union and other nations. Canada will also establish “targets” for companies that manufacture or sell plastics to be responsible for their plastic waste. Currently less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled…

Germany: Draft bill to ban plastic bags on the way

The German Environment Ministry has drafted a bill which would ban single-use plastic bags. Environment Minister Svenja Schulze announced on Friday that she plans for the bill to become law in 2020. “I believe that we have the support of the people of Germany,” she said. “The time is right for a plastic bag ban.” The Social Democrat politican says that businesses that violate the new regulation could face a fine of €100,000 ($110,000). Should the bill become law, there will be a six-month “transition period” which will be spent “distributing the remaining stock of plastic bags” and using up the “remaining stock.” The ban will also include recycled and ecologically produced plastic bags…