Repor­ting on a pos­si­ble EU plastic tax has met with a gre­at respon­se: non-recy­clab­le plastics such as plastic pla­tes, dis­po­sable cut­le­ry, plastic straws and cot­ton swabs are to be ban­ned from super­mar­ket shel­ves. EU Com­mis­sio­ner Oettin­ger deman­ds that EU coun­tries that do not achie­ve a recy­cling rate of 80% have to pay 80 cents for every kilo of non-recy­cled plastic. The Com­mis­si­on jus­ti­fies the tax with the pro­tec­tion of the oce­ans. But perhaps the­re is also a pure­ly eco­no­mic rea­son behind it: The timing of the EU plastic tax coin­ci­des with China’s ban on was­te imports. Euro­pe sud­den­ly has to fight with its own gar­ba­ge moun­tain (or find new gar­ba­ge routes).

In order to actual­ly fight the images of dead wha­les with tons of plastic in their sto­machs, the tax would have to be signi­fi­cant­ly incre­a­sed! Plastic pla­tes and cot­ton swabs make up only a tiny part of the total plastic was­te. What about 300,000 tons of poly­sty­re­ne, which are pro­ces­sed into dis­po­sable poly­sty­re­ne pack­a­ging every year in Euro­pe alo­ne? Ima­gi­ne the pic­tu­re: Every year we could hide the Grea­ter Munich area under a 150 m high moun­tain of Sty­ro­foam. Every year! The only part of Munich you would see would be the Olym­pia­turm. Ins­tead, the EU is dealing with cot­ton swabs. Whe­re is the impact?

Ulti­mate­ly, the dis­cus­sion about a tax is only acce­le­ra­ting the trend: the days of plastic design, plastic toys, plastic pack­a­ging, plastic fur­ni­tu­re are over.

The straw made of straw again? Why not? By the way! We at Land­pack con­ti­nue to work for a clea­ner environment!

We are inte­res­ted: What is your opi­ni­on about the EU plastic tax? Feel free to com­ment on Facebook!