The EU is proposing a ban on drinking straws and other single-use plastics to help protect marine life.
The proposal is aimed at outlawing many commonplace plastic items including cotton buds, balloon sticks, cutlery, straws and drink stirrers.
The European Union also wants almost all plastic bottles to be collected for recycling by 2025.
The EU’s proposals are targeting disposable food containers and dining ware, from plastic plates and cups, to packaging for food products such as fast-food.
The plan will need to be approved by the 28 member states and the European Parliament before it can be passed.
The European Union estimates that the ban will help: to avoid 3.4 million tons of carbon emissions; to prevent damage to the environment that would cost the equivalent of €22 billion by 2030 and to save consumers €6.5 billion.
EU First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem.
“Today’s proposals will reduce single-use plastics on our supermarket shelves through a range of measures.
“We will ban some of these items and substitute them with cleaner alternatives, so people can still use their favorite products.”
The plan does not set a deadline for a total ban on single-use plastics.
If it is approved, EU member states will need to make an active effort to reduce the number of single-use plastic food containers and cups available for sale in supermarkets.