In legal text (a Directive) adopted 27th March 2019, the European Parliament decided to address the matter of single-use plastics as follows :
(1) Single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers to be banned by 2021
(2) 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029
(3) More stringent application of the “polluter pays” principle
Specifically the following Products will be banned in the EU by 2021 :
* Single-use plastic cutlery (forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks)
* Single-use plastic plates
* Plastic straws
* Cotton bud sticks made of plastic
* Plastic balloon sticks
* Oxo-degradable plastics and food containers and expanded polystyrene cups
Member states will have to achieve a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029, and plastic bottles will have to contain at least 25% of recycled content by 2025 and 30% by 2030.
The Directive will also strengthen the application of the polluter pays principle, in particular for tobacco, by introducing extended responsibility for producers. This new regime will also apply to fishing gear, to ensure that manufacturers, and not fishermen, bear the costs of collecting nets lost at sea.
In addition, the legal text agreed stipulates that labelling on the negative environmental impact of throwing cigarettes with plastic filters in the street should be mandatory, as well as for other products such as plastic cups, wet wipes and sanitary napkins.
The Directive now needs to be approved by the Council of Ministers before it enters EU law later this year. Member States will have two years to transfer the legislation into national law.
The Press Release (European Commission) is here.
I will load the Directive (once in law) into subscribers’ Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists.