Italian island of Capri bans single-use plastics in win for the environment

Capri is a small island off the coast of Italy, but it is determined to lead the way toward a greener and pollution-free world by banning single-use plastics a full two years before a European Union-wide ban takes effect in 2021.

That’s why the Capri city council passed a new law that takes effect this month and will start allowing fisherman to collect plastics they find in the ocean.

According to Agencia EFE:

Cutlery, dishes, cups or any other elements which are not made of biodegradable plastic will not be allowed onto the island, as per new law the local government has passed on the small southern island in the Gulf of Naples.

Capri, an island of over 12,000 inhabitants, is one of the most exclusive and crowded tourist destinations in Italy.

Single-use plastics represent 70 percent of the plastics found in the world’s oceans. There’s literally a plastic island floating around and many of these plastics are tragically swallowed by marine life.

For example, whales mistake some plastics for squids and are found dead with a load of plastic in their guts.

Birds swallow balloons and plastic straws, which cause gastrointestinal blockages and death.

That’s why the island’s fisherman are now able to collect plastics they find at sea without fear of being fined under the new law.

The people of Capri rely on the ocean and the wildlife it supports, so it makes sense the island would seek to do something to halt its own contribution to the abundance of plastics found in it.

“We have a very big problem and we have to contribute (to finding a solution),” Mayor Gianni De Martino said. “We all have heard about the famous plastic island which exists in the sea.”

De Martino says the law is necessary for “reducing the pollution problem” and that it will “improve the selective collection of residue and to obviously contribute to taking care of the environment.”

From now on, only biodegradable plastics can be sold and used on the island, and Capri is hoping to inspire the world to follow their lead.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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