Reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment

ENVI
© Image used under the license from Shutterstock.com

On 28 May 2018, the Commission adopted a proposal for a new Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, including new rules targeting the ten single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, and lost/abandoned fishing gear. These items constitute 70% of all marine litter items. The measures include bans, consumption reduction targets or obligations for producers to help cover the costs of waste management and clean-up.

The co-legislators reached an agreement on 19 December 2018. Plastic cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, beverage stirrers, balloons sticks, products made of oxo-degradable plastic and food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene will be banned from 2021. Member States will take measures to achieve a reduction in the consumption of cups and food containers. These measures shall achieve a measurable quantitative reduction by 2026 compared to 2022. Bottles will have tethered caps from 2024 and be made of 25% of recycled content by 2025 for PET bottles (30 % by 2030 for all bottles). 90% of plastic bottles will have to be separately collected by 2029.

The new Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment was published on 5 June 2019.