Parliament approved a new law, banning throwaway plastics such as cotton bud sticks, cutlery, straws, stirrers and plates.
According to the European Commission, more than 80 per cent of marine litter is plastics. Plastic residue is found in many marine species such as fish and shell fish and thus is present in the human food chain.
The new law banning single-use plastics will come into force across all EU member states by 2021 and will help to reduce the plastic waste that currently pollutes our oceans and beaches.
560 MEPs voted in favour of the agreement with EU ministers, 35 voted against and 28 abstained. The directive will also ban plastic balloon sticks, single-use polystyrene cups and those made from oxo-degradable plastics (plastics that fragment into tiny pieces).