After current supplies run out, Vatican City State will no longer be selling any single-use plastic items on its tiny territory.
While the European Union pledged in May to ban single-use plastic starting in 2021, the Vatican had already begun limiting its use and soon “it will no longer be sold,” said Rafael Ignacio Tornini, head of the department handling Vatican City State’s gardens and waste collection.
“We have been making an effort to sort as much (plastic) as possible, and the state has limited all sales of single-use plastic,” he told the Italian news agency ANSA.
After all previously stocked items are gone, no more single-use plastic will be sold, he said.
Single-use plastic include bags, water bottles, cutlery, straws and balloons. The top five single-use plastic items polluting European shores are cigarette butts, bottles and caps, food packaging, cotton swab sticks and wet wipes, according to research in 2016 by the European Commission.
The Vatican has long been working to get green, most notably with the installation of a solar power system on the roof of the Paul VI audience hall in 2008.
Picture: A woman holds water bottles next to a bin under the St Peter’s Square colonnade at the Vatican on 16th July 2019. A Vatican official said the Vatican is collecting 22 pounds of plastic a day from waste containers under the colonnade. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).