The European Parliament has voted in favour of an amended Single Use Plastics Directive at its first reading with 571 votes in favour, 53 votes opposed and 34 abstentions. Members of the European Parliament to expand the list of articles which should be banned. In addition to disposable plates and cutlery, plastic-stemmed cotton buds, drinking straws and balloon sticks, the EP voted to prevent fast food containers made of EPS and products made of oxo-degradable plastics from being placed on the market beginning in 2021. Single-use plastic beverage bottles would need to have a recycled content of at least 35 by 2025 according to the motion passed on Wednesday. A 2025 deadline would also be set for achieving a separate collection rate of 90 per cent for these containers.
In addition to adopting its first reading position, the European Parliament voted to give rapporteur Frédérique Ries a mandate, authorising her to enter negotiations with the member states and the EU Commission. However, a debate during the Environment Council meeting in the second week of October revealed a lack of agreement among member states on numerous of aspects of the Directive. In the coming "trilogue" talks, representatives of the Parliament and the Council must reach a compromise which can be finally adopted by both EU bodies.