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Disposable tableware will soon disappear from sale – retail chains have already begun to replace plastic with ecological alternatives

The EU directive has banned the sale of plastic cutlery and drinking straws from the beginning of July. In Finland, the directive will take effect in August.

Summer is a time for picnics and disposable tableware, sales of which have tripled compared to other seasons. However, disposable plates and cups are living their last days: in Finland and other EU countries, the sale of plastic appliances, straws and utensils is prohibited.

Disposable cups must also bear an inscription that they contain plastic.

Finland is still behind the schedule for the introduction of the directive, but retail chains have already managed to prepare for the upcoming changes.

– We have not sold plastic straws for a year now, and we also replaced plastic cutlery with made of wood. About 150 product names fall under the directive, says the head of Nora Lehtinen from the SOK retail chain.

For the consumer, at best, the changes will be imperceptible, since now, along with plastic, other materials are used, for example, cardboard tubes and other disposable tableware. The price, however, could rise.

– The demand for new materials is still less, they are less used, which means prices may be higher, – Lehtonen notes.

In Finland, the Tukes Technical and Chemical Safety Authority monitors whether the ban on the use of plastics is respected. Chief Inspector Tiia Salamäki states that plastic disposable tableware will not disappear from the shelves overnight, as the old stock must be sold first.

– Companies have reported that some products will last for another year. We can issue a warning, prohibit, restrict or withdraw some items from sale, – says Salamäki.

In Finland, the ban will officially take effect in August. In addition to disposable tableware, you will also have to give up cotton swabs and balloons on sticks.