Single-Use Plastics Bans
The European Parliament voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws, and stirrers. The directive will also ban single-use polystyrene cups and those made from oxo-degradable plastics. The ban will come into force in 2021 in all EU member states.
And although these items represent only a small portion of the waste stream, the measure is part of a more comprehensive plan against plastic waste. EU member states will have to introduce measures to reduce the use of plastic food containers and plastic lids for hot drinks. By 2025, plastic bottles should be made of 25% recycled content, and by 2029 90% of them should be recycled.
In this issue of your Ubuntoo digest, we feature some promising innovations that are related to the European directive. Log in with your Ubuntoo account and search for keywords like “Straws”, “Cups”, “Plates”, “Tableware” or “Cutlery” in the search bar. Of course, you can also just click the links in this newsletter.
Thank you to all members who have sent us amazing feedback! We would like to continue to grow our community of changemakers so please nominate members who play a role in the plastic circular economy.
SOLUTIONS RELATED TO THE SINGLE-USE PLASTICS BAN
Besides the options of package-free products which we highlighted 2 weeks ago, the next most eco-friendly approach is to make cups, cutlery and food containers reusable, and in some cases even edible!
Here are some examples of solutions listed on Ubuntoo:
- Straws: Alternatives to single-use plastic straws come in all shapes, sizes, and materials: Final Straw has created re-usable collapsible straws, while Sorbos and Loliware make edible straws. On Ubuntoo, you can also find straws made from pasta, bamboo, wheat stems, Tanzanian nsheke grass and, of course, paper.
- Cutlery and tableware: TRIA combines the use of bio-materials with a composting program for their cutlery and packaging. Biotrem is making disposable tableware from wheat bran.
- Cup Reuse System: we are seeing a remarkable trend towards reuse systems for coffee-to-go cups and lunchboxes – especially in Europe. For example Vessel Works, RECUP, Newcy, and CUPFORCUP. Revolv. is launching its system in Asia, starting with Singapore, Hong-Kong, and Bali.
- Edible packaging: some innovators, like Skipping Rocks Lab and Make Grow Lab even go as far as creating edible packaging.
Here is a chance for you to give inputs on Europe’s Sustainability Agenda!
Ubuntoo is one of the very few startups who have been invited to speak at the upcoming Sustainable Europe 2030 Conference. In preparation for this, we have been asked to write a “thinkpiece”, which we have called “Harnessing The Groundswell of Sustainability Innovations” We would love your thoughts on it, so we can better represent the Ubuntoo community.
Here is a selection of news articles that caught our attention last week
- The Last Straw: European parliament votes to ban single-use plastics
- Recycling in the US will Survive, despite the media narrative
- A Thai supermarket uses banana leaves as an alternative to plastic packaging
- Here are the five best recycling countries in the world
MUST LISTEN TO
Episode 4 of The Rise of The Ecopreneur Podcast features Emma Rose Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO of Final Straw. You will get the full behind-the-scenes of the genesis of the world’s first collapsible and reusable straw.
“Just because people throw it out
and don't have any use for it,
doesn't mean it's garbage.”
― Andy Warhol