Emerging markets should oppose plastic bans

The European Commission’s new plastic strategy is moving closer to final completion, after the European Parliament added an even longer list of banned plastic items. However, the consequences for emerging economies should not be ignored.

The European Parliament’s environment committee’s version adds thin plastic bags, products made of oxodegradable plastics, and takeaway boxes and cups made of styrofoam to the list of banned items proposed by the commission. Plates and cutlery made of plastic are exempted from the ban until 2023, but only in school canteens and hospitals

EU countries have until 2025 to achieve an “ambitious and sustained” reduction of throwaway food and drink containers, and until 2030 to cut consumption of cigarette filters made of plastic by 80 percent.

These ambitious goals translate a radical position of EU institutions on the issue. Plastic is certainly not seen as fantastic anymore, and the EU will do as much as it can to get rid of plastic in the foreseeable future. But the anti-plastic craze comes at a cost to European economies and their consumers. Take the example of expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly known as styrofoam. In the United States, cities such as Seattle, Washington D.C., Portland, Minneapolis, or San Francisco, have put bans on EPS products across the board, which has consequences for both producers, retailers, and consumers.

The US experience

US studies found that the New York City styrofoam ban would increase cost for businesses: for every dollar spent on EPS containers, 1.94 US dollars needs to be spent on alternative materials. Needless to say that such price increases also reflect on consumer prices. The same impact goes for retailers.

Based on multipliers calculated by Keybridge Research, the direct and indirect impacts of the ban on EPS manufacturing in New York City could eliminate 2,000 jobs and 400 million US dollars in economic activity.

In California, banning EPS would reduce overall output by an estimated 1.4 billion US dollars and raise annual consumer spending on disposable food-service products by roughly 376 million US dollars. All too often, food vendors are now encouraged by cities to charge customers takeout fees, in order to discourage the transport of food in styrofoam containers.

Now some people could claim that they do not care for the jobs lost and the increased consumer prices, because ultimately, these bans will be good for the environment. Here again, the evidence is not there. When we compare polystyrene foam to paper cups, we find that paper uses more petroleum, more steam, more electric power, more cooling water, more wastewater, and more mass to landfill.

The recycling opportunities of styrofoam is there: it shredded to be reused as ceiling insulation, or can be melted down and turned into pellets used to create harder plastic items, like toys or faux wood.

The environment committee is also set to include thin plastic and single-use plastic bags in the upcoming directive. And yet again, we already have experiences on this, which do not support the idea a ban should be introduced.

Crunching the numbers

When crunching the number we find evidence that such restrictions are actually a drain on the economy and the environment: in 2011, the UK’s Environment Agency published an earlier-drafted life cycle assessment of supermarket carrier bags. The aim: establishing both the environmental impact of different carrier bags which are in use and their reuse practice.

The researchers then looked at the number of times that a bag would need to be reused in order to have the same environmental impact as the conventional HDPE (High-density polyethylene) bag that people are used to. They reach the following conclusion:

“In round numbers these are: paper bag – four times, LDPE bag – five times, non-woven PP bag – 14 times and the cotton bag – 173 times.”

The report used two Australian studies that state the following life expectancy for the carrier bags mentioned earlier: paper bags (kraft paper) were found to be single use, LDPE (low-density polyethylene) between 10 and 12 times, while non-woven PP (polypropylene) bags weren’t included (only woven HDPE bags had their life expectancy included), and cotton bags had 52 trips on average. These findings may be an approximation, but even if we informed the public and doubled the reuse of alternative carrier bags, then paper and cotton bags wouldn’t even break even.

Unfortunately, it seems as if both the European Commission and the European Parliament are likely to be set on the hard-line position on the plastics strategy. However, countries in the European Council could attempt to block or to slow down the proposal. Particularly those countries benefiting the most from plastics production should vouch against the strategy. In Romania, plastics and rubber turnover is increasing every year. The same goes for Slovakia, the Czech RepublicPolandHungary, and Lithuania, which all see increased production and exports in plastics. There seems to be a disparity based on origin. In fact, we see a decline on turnover on plastic and rubber in FranceBelgiumSpainDenmark, are actually going down over time. Simultaneously, Western European countries have actually been more supportive of such legislation than those most affected by it. Call it a strange coincidence.

Emerging markets in particular cannot afford to have consumers and businesses penalised by measures that actually do not even reach their pretend objectives.

The views expressed in this opinion editorial are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy.

Originally published at https://emerging-europe.com/voices/emerging-markets-should-oppose-plastic-bans/

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Do you want to save the turtles? Don’t ban plastics – ban littering

FOAM FACTS: Like any good Londoner, I used the fantastic summer weather to kayak from Limehouse to Hackney, discovering that part of the city by water.

As a fairly experienced river and sea kayaker, I was taken aback by how full of litter London’s waters are.

At around the same time, the national and global debate on how to tackle marine plastic pollution was gathering momentum, amplified by shocking pictures of turtles injured by straws and other plastics.

The EU has outlined its plans to outlaw single-use plastics, and the UK government has signalled that post-Brexit Britain will have a very simple approach: ban them. Besides the widely discussed plans to prohibit straws and plastic balloon sticks, the UK is also looking into banning single-use plastic cutlery and plates, while environment secretary Michael Gove appeared to suggest he was considering a ban on disposable nappies.

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About Fred Roeder

Fred Roder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines. In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market. Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian. Since 2012 he serves as an Associated Researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.

Single-use plastic and the sign industry

SIGNLINK: Fred Roeder of London-based lobby group Consumer Choice says: “By banning single-use plastics such as Styrofoam cups, straws, stirrers and cotton buds in Europe we won’t solve the actual problem, which is the terrible pollution of our oceans with plastic litter. While the EU accounts for over 20 percent of the world’s economic output, it causes merely one percent of marine plastic pollution.

Therefore, rather than banning viable technologies in Europe we should rather focus on increasing recycling rates, enforce existing anti-littering laws in Europe, and push the main polluters of the oceans such as China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil to comply with environmental standards and implement effective anti-littering laws.”

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About Fred Roeder

Fred Roder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines. In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market. Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian. Since 2012 he serves as an Associated Researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.

Global konsumentorganisation gör tummen ner för EU:s plastpolitik

PACKNEWS: Den globala konsumentorganisationen Consumer Choice Center (CCC), med huvudsäte i Arlington, Virginia, USA och som representerar konsumenter i mer än 100 länder, gör tummen ner för EU:s förslag till direktiv om förbud mot vissa plastprodukter.

”Medlemsländernas EU-ambassadörer borde stå upp för konsumenterna i sina respektive länder i stället för att följa EU-kommissionens och EU-parlamentets missvisande plastpolitik. Ett förbud mot engångprodukter av plast som dryckesbägare, sugrör, bomullspinnar, mm. löser inte det faktiska problemet med de fruktansvärda föroreningarna av världens hav och oceaner”, säger CCC:s VD Fred Roeder i ett uttalande.

I sin argumentation framför Fred Roeder att EU svarar för över 20 procent av världens ekonomiska produktion, men bara bidrar med en procent till de marina plastföroreningarna.

”Inom EU borde man istället för förbud mot utvalda plastprodukter fokusera på att öka återvinningsgraden av plast och att tillämpa befintlig lagar mot nedskräpning”, säger Fred Roeder.

EU borde också driva på de stora oceannedskräparna som Kina, Indien, Indonesien, Brasilien, med flera att följa vedertagna miljöstandarder och stifta effektiva lagar mot nedskräpning, enligt Fred Roeder.

”Europeiska konsumenter har gjort sin läxa och visar respekt för vår miljö. Det finns inget behov av att straffa EU:s konsumenter för föroreningar, som orsakas av beteendet hos konsumenter i länder i andra världsdelar”, säger Fred Roeder.

N.B.: Svenska bransch- och arbetsgivarorganisationen IKEM (Innovations- och kemiindustrierna i Sverige), som bland annat representerar plastbranschen i Sverige, har tidigare framfört liknande kritik mot EU:s plastpolitik. Läs HÄR!

Konsumentorganisationen Consumer Choice Center är verksam i flera länder och säger sig representera konsumenter och gräsrötter i mer än 100 länder. Läs mer om CCC HÄR.

Originally published at http://www.packnyheter.se/default.asp?id=14131&show=more&titel=Global-konsumentorganisation-g%C3%B6r-tummen-ner-f%C3%B6r-EU:s-plastpolitik

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About Fred Roeder

Fred Roder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines. In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market. Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian. Since 2012 he serves as an Associated Researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.

Der letzte Strohhalm – Wie die Anti-Plastik-Politik alles nur verschlimmert

Das Verbot von Plastiktrinkhalmen, die Besteuerung von Plastiktüten oder das Phänomen des Verbots von Styropor in Großstädten: Ein Teil des politischen Spektrums ist besessen davon, die Welt komplett von Kunststoff zu befreien. Diese Maßnahmen werfen jedoch die Frage auf, ob sie ihre Ziele tatsächlich erreichen und welche unbeabsichtigten Folgen der anti-Plastik Wahn hat. Von unserem Gastautor Bill Wirtz

Mehr als 100 Städte in den USA haben die Verwendung von expandiertem Polystyrol (EPS) – allgemein bekannt als Styropor – stark eingeschränkt oder ganz verboten. Auf diesem Gebiet sind die Vereinigten Staaten Europa voraus (im negativen Sinne): In der neuen Plastikstrategie die von der Europäischen Kommission vorgeschlagen wird, ist ein Styropor-Verbot zwar nicht enthalten, doch der Umweltausschuss des Europäischen Parlaments will die letzteres durch Zusatzartikel hinzufügen.

Dem Kunststoffprodukt wird vorgeworfen, dass es schlecht für die Umwelt sei und ein erhebliches Verschmutzungsproblem mit sich bringt. Obwohl EPS ein recycelbares Produkt ist, haben sich einige seiner Versionen als sehr schwierig zu recyceln erwiesen. Städte wie Seattle, Washington D.C., Portland, Minneapolis oder San Francisco haben jedoch allgemeine Verbote für EPS-Produkte erlassen, was sowohl für Produzenten, Einzelhändler als auch für Verbraucher Folgen hat.

US Studien ergaben, dass das Styroporverbot in New York die Kosten für Unternehmen erhöhen würde: Für jeden Dollar, der bisher für EPS-Container ausgegeben wird, müssen 1,94 Dollar für alternative Materialien ausgegeben werden.

Solche Preiserhöhungen wirken sich auf die Verbraucherpreise aus.Die gleichen Auswirkungen gelten für den Einzelhandel.

Basierend auf von Keybridge Research berechneten Multiplikatoren könnten die direkten und indirekten Auswirkungen des Verbots der EPS-Produktion in New York City 2.000 Arbeitsplätze und 400 Millionen Dollar an wirtschaftlicher Aktivität beseitigen.

In Kalifornien würde ein Verbot von EPS die Gesamtproduktion um schätzungsweise 1,4 Milliarden Dollar verringern und die jährlichen Verbraucherausgaben für Einwegprodukte um rund 376 Millionen Dollar erhöhen. Allzu oft werden die Lebensmittelverkäufer jetzt von den Städten ermutigt, von den Kunden “Take-away”-Gebühren zu verlangen, um den Transport von Lebensmitteln in Styroporbehältern zu verhindern.

Nun könnten einige Leute behaupten, dass sie sich nicht für die verlorenen Arbeitsplätze und die gestiegenen Verbraucherpreise interessieren, denn letztendlich werden diese Verbote gut für die Umwelt sein. Auch hier sind die Beweise nicht vorhanden. Wenn wir EPS mit Papierbechern vergleichen, stellen wir fest, dass Papier mehr Erdöl, mehr Dampf, mehr Strom, mehr Kühlwasser, mehr Abwasser und mehr Masse zur Deponierung verbraucht.

Die Recyclingmöglichkeiten von Styropor gibt es: Es wird zerkleinert, um als Deckendämmung wiederverwendet zu werden, oder es kann eingeschmolzen und zu Pellets verarbeitet werden, um härtere Kunststoffartikel wie Spielzeug oder Holzimitate herzustellen.

Die Diskussion ist bei Plastiktüten ist nicht besser

Im Januar kündigte die britische Regierung ihre Absicht an, ihre Plastiktüten-Steuer auf alle Geschäfte auszudehnen. Die Idee, den Einzelhandel vollständig von Einweg-Plastiktüten zu befreien, ist auf breiter Front beliebt und wird bereits an mehreren Orten in den Vereinigten Staaten umgesetzt.

Und doch finden wir bei genauerer Analyse Belege dafür, dass solche Beschränkungen tatsächlich die Wirtschaft belasten: 2011 veröffentlichte die britische Umweltbehörde eine Ökobilanz von Supermarkt-Tragetaschen. Ziel ist es, sowohl die Umweltauswirkungen der verschiedenen verwendeten Tragetaschen als auch deren Wiederverwendungspraxis zu ermitteln. Die Forscher untersuchten dann, wie oft ein Beutel wiederverwendet werden müsste, um die gleichen Umweltauswirkungen zu erzielen wie der herkömmliche HDPE-Beutel (High-Density Polyethylene), an den Menschen gewöhnt sind. Sie kommen zu folgendem Schluss:

„In runden Zahlen sind das: Papiertüte – 4 mal, LDPE-Tüte – 5 mal, PP-Vliestüte – 14 mal und die Baumwolltüte – 173 mal.“

Der Bericht verwendete zwei australische Studien, in denen die folgende Lebenserwartung für die zuvor genannten Tragetaschen angegeben ist: Papiertüten (Kraftpapier) wurden als Einmalartikel befunden, LDPE (Polyethylen niedriger Dichte) zwischen 10 und 12 Mal, während Vliesstofftaschen aus PP (Polypropylen) nicht enthalten waren (nur gewebte HDPE-Taschen hatten ihre Lebenserwartung eingeschlossen), und Baumwolltaschen hatten durchschnittlich 52 Wiederverwendungen.

Diese Ergebnisse mögen eine Annäherung sein, aber selbst wenn wir die Öffentlichkeit informieren und die Wiederverwendung alternativer Tragetaschen verdoppeln würden, dann würden Papier- und Baumwolltaschen nicht einmal zu einem “break even” kommen.

Anstatt Produzenten und Verbrauchern unnötige Belastungen aufzuerlegen, sollte die EU einen pragmatischen, weniger reaktionären Ansatz in Betracht ziehen. So würde beispielsweise die Verbesserung der Recyclinginfrastruktur in Europa und damit die Erhöhung der Menge an Kunststoffabfällen, die recycelt und nicht verunreinigt werden, die Umweltauswirkungen viel stärker verringern, was die sozialen und wirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen radikal reduzieren würde.

Anstatt am eigentlichen Problem mit einem Verbot vorbei zu schießen, sollten wir nach langfristigen, praktischen Lösungen suchen, die Verbraucher und Unternehmer nicht gefährden.

Originally published at https://www.ruhrbarone.de/wo-politiken-wie-die-plastikstrategie-falsch-liegen/159659

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Single-use plastics ban comes in for criticism

IMAGE REPORTS: The Austrian EU presidency has signalled a common line to negotiate a Europe-wide single-use plastics ban with the European Commission and Parliament.

Managing director of the Consumer Choice Centre Fred Roeder has criticised the current negotiation position of the council. “The EU ambassadors should stand up for consumers and consumer choice in their member states instead of following the misleading policy move of the Commission and the Parliament. By banning single-use plastics such as styrofoam cups, straws, stirrers and cotton buds in Europe we won’t solve the actual problem which is the terrible pollution of our oceans with plastic litter,” said Roeder “While the EU accounts for over 20% of the world’s economic output it causes merely 1% of marine plastic pollution. Therefore rather than banning viable technologies in Europe we should rather focus on increasing recycling rates, enforce existing anti-littering laws in Europe, and push the main polluters of the oceans such as China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil to comply with environmental standards and implement effective anti-littering laws,” said Roeder. “European consumers have already done their homework and showed their respect for our environment. There’s no need to punish EU consumers for the pollution causing behaviour of consumers in emerging countries.”

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About Fred Roeder

Fred Roder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines. In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market. Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian. Since 2012 he serves as an Associated Researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.

Consumer Choice Center criticises Chancellor’s plastic packaging tax

PACKAGING NEWS: The Consumer Choice Center’s (CCC) Fred Roeder believes the UK should not tax plastic packaging but enforce littering laws.

While applauding the decision to abandon plans for a ‘latte levy’, Fred Roeder, the London-based managing director of the Consumer Choice Center which represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe, criticised Philip Hammond’s tax plans.

“The good news is that the UK government dropped their plan for the ‘latte levy’ which would have penalised consumers who buy drinks during their commute or on the road,” he said. “The bad news is that the Conservative government did not pivot from fighting against plastics to actually enforcing existing littering laws.”

“The new plans to impose a tax on imported and locally manufactured plastic packaging will not significantly impact marine plastic pollution but only burden UK consumers with a new tax. Taxing plastic packaging penalises all consumers for the bad behaviour of a few who actually litter. Enforcing existing littering laws is the best domestic driver to lower the UK’s contribution to global pollution,” said Roeder

Roeder furthermore suggested that the UK’s marine pollution footprint was merely marginal: “Given that merely 0.1% of global marine plastic pollution is caused by the United Kingdom we should be more focused on how to make the main polluters such as China, India, and Indonesia enforce environmental standards and property rights.”

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About Fred Roeder

Fred Roder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines. In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market. Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian. Since 2012 he serves as an Associated Researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.

Budget 2018: Industry responds

ENERGY LIVE NEWS: Plastic packaging tax won’t work

Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center, Fred Roeder, said: “The good news is that the UK Government dropped their plan for the ‘latte levy’ which would have penalised consumers who buy drinks during their commute or on the road. The bad news is that the Conservative government did not pivot from fighting against plastics to actually enforcing existing littering laws.

“The new plans to impose a tax on imported and locally manufactured plastic packaging will not significantly impact marine plastic pollution but only burden UK consumers with a new tax. Taxing plastic packaging penalises all consumers for the bad behaviour of a few who actually litter. Enforcing existing littering laws is the best domestic driver to lower the UK’s contribution to global pollution.”

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About Fred Roeder

Fred Roder has been working in the field of grassroots activism for over eight years. He is a Health Economist from Germany and has worked in healthcare reform and market access in North America, Europe, and several former Soviet Republics. One of his passions is to analyze how disruptive industries and technologies allow consumers more choice at a lower cost. Fred is very interested in consumer choice and regulatory trends in the following industries: FMCG, Sharing Economy, Airlines. In 2014 he organized a protest in Berlin advocating for competition in the Taxi market. Fred has traveled to 100 countries and is looking forward to visiting the other half of the world’s countries. Among many op-eds and media appearances, he has been published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Die Welt, the BBC, SunTV, ABC Portland News, Montreal Gazette, Handelsblatt, Huffington Post Germany, CityAM. L’Agefi, and The Guardian. Since 2012 he serves as an Associated Researcher at the Montreal Economic Institute.

Plastic crackdown: Europe moves to ban single-use plastic

GREENBIZ: However, Bill Wirtz, policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), said the EU Parliament was wrong to approve the new plastics rules, arguing regulators should avoid rushing for “uninformed” bans which could push consumers towards alternatives that end up harming the environment in other ways.

“It should be up to consumers to decide what products they use,” he said. “If you believe that plastic isn’t fantastic, that’s fine, but going on an uninformed craze against anything made out of plastic is neither rational nor productive.”

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Single use plastic items to be banned from EU market from 2021

FM WORLD: But Bill Wirtz, policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, says this approval is bad news for European consumers.

Wirtz said: “Ninety per cent of the Parliament just voted to ban a vast array of single-use plastic items, including oxo-degradable plastics, and takeaway boxes and cups made of Styrofoam, as well as straws, coffee-stirrers balloon sticks and ear buds made of plastics. I’m fairly positive that those 90 per cent did not investigate the evidence of whether alternative products are actually better on an environmental level.”

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.