There are no good and bad objects, only right and wrong behaviours
The EU Directive that provides for the adoption of a ban on plastic tableware and cutlery raises a question: would a ban on plastic tableware help to protect the environment? Six simple consideration prove that it would not.
Impact on the environment: let us analyse the facts and debunk the myths.
Incredible but true: on average, single-use plastic tableware has a lower impact on the environment than other types of disposable tableware erroneously perceived as more sustainable.
This is the conclusion of the comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on the environmental impact of the tableware during its entire life cycle.
There are no good and bad cups and plates, only right and wrong behaviours.
Littering is primarily a problem of a lack of public spirit, and should be addressed by educating people and adopting more efficient waste collection systems.
Plastic waste recycling is the most effective environmental remedy.
In Europe, everybody agrees that separate waste collection and plastic recycling, a key driver of circular economy, is the most effective way to protect the environment.
The pollution of the sea cannot be remedied by banning plastic tableware.
Just under 95% of the plastic debris in the seas and the oceans comes from 10 major Asian and African rivers. In Europe, the amount of plastic used to make plates and cutlery is 0.6% the quantity used to make plastic packaging. Hence the impact of banning plastic dishes and cutlery would be minimal, and furthermore plastic tableware would be replaced, to some extent at least, by other disposable items.
Single-use plastic tableware is virtually irreplaceable in many situations.
In an emergency, in collective food service and catering, at major public events and domestic events, plastic is unbeatable in terms of price, ease of use, hygiene and recyclability.
A ban on plastic tableware is particularly bad for Italy.
Italy’s single-use plastic tableware industry is No. 1 in Europe, with an export percentage of over 30%.
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