Italy is implementing the EU’s Single Use Plastics (SUP) directive issued in 2019, which bans the production of particular disposable plastic products
After many countries, Italy too takes the field against sea plastic pollution. Last 31 May 2019, the European Commission had issued a new SUP – Single Use Plastics directive that bans the production of particular disposable plastic products, and our country has finally transposed this law into our national law. For the time being, the ban is limited to specific products for which there are already affordable alternatives on the market: cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers, balloon rods, but also cups, expanded polystyrene food and drink containers and all degradable plastic products. All these products will de facto no longer be allowed on the EU market.
For other disposable plastic products, such as fishing equipment and wet wipes, the new EU directive imposes labelling requirements, extended producer responsibility schemes, awareness-raising campaigns and design specifications, aimed at limiting their use, reducing their consumption and avoiding their dispersion in the environment.
BANS, LABELS AND MARKINGS
Italy and other European countries will also have to ensure that certain disposable plastic products placed on the market carry a marking on the product or its packaging to inform consumers of the presence of plastic in the product and the appropriate method of waste disposal, avoiding dispersal in the environment. This obligation applies to products such as sanitary towels, tampons and tampon applicators; wet wipes for personal and household hygiene; tobacco products with filters and filters marketed in combination with tobacco products; and beverage cups.
The goal of the new European UAS (Single Use Plastics) Directive is clear: to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, particularly the marine one, and on human health, and to promote the transition to a circular economy with sustainable business models, products and materials.
More than 80% of marine litter is plastic, which accumulates in the seas, oceans and beaches of Europe and around the world. These residues are dangerous for both marine life and biodiversity, as they are found in species such as sea turtles, seals, whales, birds, but also in fish and shellfish that are part of the human food chain.
According to the European Commission, the new bans will encourage the production and use of sustainable alternatives to disposable plastic, as well as raise awareness of the risks of plastic pollution of our seas and its negative impact on our economy, tourism, fisheries and maritime transport.
Il Giornale della Vela together with Motorboats magazine and Medplastic, the association created in 2018 to safeguard the Mediterranean, is launching the “Trash Hunters” campaign for this summer 2021 and invites you all to turn into plastic hunters.
How? It’s very easy: when you’re sailing along the coast and between the archipelagos or while you’re anchored in a bay or moored in a port or even when you’re simply enjoying a day at the beach, every time you see one or more floating plastic waste, pick it up, take a selfie with the “catch” and post it on Instagram in Direct Message to @giornaledellavela and @barcheamotore or post it on your profile by tagging @giornaledellavela and @barcheamotore or using the hashtag #medplastic2021. In addition to the general description of your “prey”, it is very important to add the exact geographic location of the find and your first and last name.
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