So, what is being banned?
Over 170 countries around the world have announced bans on selected single-use plastic products1. These bans have been introduced to address growing concern about the impact of plastic on the natural environment, and the prevalence of microplastics2. Many jurisdictions have identified commonly littered items, like plastic bags, straws and cutlery in new legislation aimed to phase out these problematic plastics.
Despite these concerns, the approach, and even the definition of single-use plastic differs across countries and states. Contradictory policies and
a lack of enforcement are making it challenging for jurisdictions to tackle the growing problem of plastic waste3. But support is growing for a global treaty to address the issue.
“Fundamentally, governments will not be able to do what they are supposed to do if they can’t count on an international partnership and framework. It is not going to work.”
-Hugo-Maria Schally, Multilateral Environmental Co-operation Unit, European Commission