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Brussels — The European Union proposed on Monday a bloc-wide ban on single-use plastics such as straws, cutlery and cotton buds while urging the collection of most plastic drinks bottles by 2025. The set of proposals are part of a growing EU drive to rid the environment of plastic waste which has begun showing up in the food chain. "Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem," EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said. "Today’s proposals will reduce single-use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures," Timmermans said. The proposals call for banning plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks, but it did not set a deadline. These items must all be made from sustainable materials instead, according to the plan which must be approved by the 28 EU member countries and the European Parliament. Member states must reduce the use of plastic food containers and drinks cups, ...

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