The human race has generated a tremendous amount of waste in our stewardship of the Earth. Every day, millions of plastic spoons, straws, and other single use items are used once and discarded. All that trash has to end up somewhere, and much of it has filled up landfills and been scattered to the ocean where they’ve created a massive ecological calamity for the ocean life.
We’re starting to see the real efforts to combat the issue and an exciting new piece of legislation slated to go into effect in 2021 where the European Union will enact a ban on single use plastic items. From the BBC:
MEPs backed a ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink-stirrers and balloon sticks.
The proposal also calls for a reduction in single-use plastic for food and drink containers like plastic cups.
One MEP said, if no action was taken, "by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans".
The European Commission proposed a ban in May, following a surge in public support attributed to documentaries such as David Attenborough's BBC Blue Planet series.
The measure still has to clear some procedural hurdles, but is expected to go through. The EU hopes it will go into effect across the bloc by 2021.
The UK will also have to incorporate the rules into national law if the ban becomes a fully-fledged directive before the end of a Brexit transition period.
This is a groundbreaking step forward. We will have more on this story as it develops.