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17th Jan 2018

Under new EU rules, you’ll have to buy a reusable cup for your coffee

Alan Loughnane

Free coffee

A big change…

In a bid to fight pollution, the EU have planned to ban the use of single-use coffee cups, a move which they hope to have fully implemented by 2030.

The strategy was announced by the European Commission and aims to increase plastic recycling and for all plastic packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030.

The move will see items such as single-use coffee cups and other items banned from being sold in the EU.

Around 26 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated in Europe each year, with only 30% of such waste collected for recycling.

Most plastic in Europe is landfilled or incinerated, rather than recycled. Even when consumers recycle, much of the packaging consumed cannot or is difficult to recycle – such as dark food containers that are not picked up in sorting scans or plastic lined paper coffee cups.

The most commonly found single-use plastics items in beach litter are: cigarette butts, drinks bottles and their caps/lids, cotton bud sticks, sanitary towels, bags, crisps packets and sweets wrappers, straws and stirrers, balloons and balloon sticks, food containers, cups and cup lids, and cutlery.

The EU have set a target of 55% recycling of plastic packaging waste by 2030.

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