EU continues the fight against the use of plastics

On 05.06.2019 the Council of Europe adopted a new Directive on the environmental impact of the use of certain plastic saws. This Directive has set itself the objective of reducing the impact of use of plastic products on the environment especially on the aquatic environment as well as on human health. In addition, it seeks to promote a circular economy with innovative and sustainable business models, products and materials.

The scope of the Directive includes plastic products which are used only once and products made from oxo-degradable plastic and fishing gear containing plastic.

The member states are required to commence putting into force the necessary regulatory and administrative provisions on 3 July 2021 by:
  • Taking measures to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic products which are included in Annex A of the Directive such as cups of beverages including their covers and lids, food containers, receptacles such as boxes with or without a cover used to contain food including food containers used for fast food or other meal ready for immediate consumption.
The measures to be taken by the member states may include:

a) national targets for reducing consumption.
b) reusable alternatives in relation in single-use plastic products.
c) imposing a marketing restriction.
  • Prohibiting the marketing of products made from oxo-degradable plastic and single- use plastic products which are listed in Part B of the Directive’s Annex such as cotton swabs, cutlery (forks, knives and spoons), dishes, straws and drink stirrers.
  • Placing on the market the single-used products listed in Part C of the Directive’s Annex such as beverages containers with a capacity of up to three litres, receptacles used to contain liquid, such as beverage bottles only when their caps and lids remain attached to the containers.
  • Marking the following on single- used plastic products listed in part D of the Directive’s Annex such as sanitary towels (pads), tampons and tampon applicators, wet wipes, pre-wetted personal care and domestic wipes, tobacco products with filters and filters marketed for use in combination with tobacco products and cups for beverages:
(a) appropriate management options for the product as waste.
(b) the presence of plastics in the product and the impact of its discharge into the environment.
  • Ensuring that producer responsibility is extended to all single-used plastic products listed in part E of the Directive’s Annex such as balloons, except balloons for industrial or other professional uses and applications that are not distributed to consumers, lightweight plastic carrier bags,  packets and wrappers made from flexible material containing food that is intended for immediate consumption from the packet or wrapper without any further preparation, cups for beverages, including their covers and lids and several others.

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