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Vilnius bans disposable plastic utensils at city events

The decision, effective this March, is in line with the EU Council Directive aimed at reducing the environmental impact of certain plastic products

  • January 28, 2020 16:00
  • Author Plamen Petrov
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Eager to enjoy a city event in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius as early as this March? You are more than welcome, but please, bring your own keep cup, fork and plate along.

Such is the message of the unanimous decision by Vilnius City Council to ban the use of disposable plastic utensils in city events as of March 2020. The move will help to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the city and teach residents how to be more mindful about their waste disposal.

Plastic pollution of land, waterways and oceans has reached alarming proportions with frequent reports of dying sea creatures and microplastics penetrating the human food chain.

„I am pleased with the decision reached by the Members of the Council. The restrictions on the use of plastics in the city events encourage the public to become friendlier to the environment which is where they live. We are one of the first cities in Lithuania to take a determined stance towards this initiative. This decision by Vilnius City Council is yet another right step towards mindfulness and eco-friendliness“, said Mayor of the capital Remigijus Šimašius, quoted by the municipality web site Vilnius.lt.

Using the occasion, Vilnius city councilor Lukas Savickas called on local businesses to face the new economic challenges and rising customer expectations by leading the way in environmental protection.

EU efforts to curb single-use plastics

Waste reduction is a key principle of the circular economy and main priority of Vilnius city government. Its decision to ban single-use plastic utensils which accumulate significantly during big events and harm the eco systems is in line with current EU efforts.  On 8 May 2019, the EU Council adopted a Directive aimed at reducing the environmental impact of certain plastic products. The Directive stipulates that the sales and the use of single-use plastic products, such as disposable cutlery, plates, cups, glasses, beverage containers and straws, cotton bud sticks and sticks for balloons will be banned in the EU from 2021.

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