If there's a race to clean up the world's oceans, the European Union wants to come first.
The European Comission has announced an ambitious new policy to crack down on the top 10 single-use plastics most commonly found on beaches to leading the way on an issue with global implications.
Every year, the world produces around 300 million tons of plastic, and every year, about 10 million tonnes of that plastics winds up in our oceans. Europe alone produces 25 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, and less than 30 percent of that is recycled.
'Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem' said Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commision.
If approved by the Eu's member states, the new policy would severely restrict and at times even ban plastic products - including plastic cotton buds, cutlery, plates straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks - while also making sure to substitute the products with cleaner alternatives.