Every year, several million tons of plastic waste are discharged into the oceans worldwide. Around 85 percent of marine litter consists of plastics. To counteract this trend and protect the environment at the same time, the EU has imposed a directive on single-use plastic items in 2019. According to the directive, EU member states must ensure by July 3 of this year that certain single-use plastic articles are no longer marketed in the EU. The focus is primarily on products for which there are more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as cotton swabs, cutlery, plates, drinking straws, stirrers or balloon wands. The same applies to to-go beverage cups, fast-food packaging and disposable food containers made of Styrofoam. Other measures apply to other plastic items such as single-use plastic carrier bags, bottles, bags, foil packaging, tobacco filters, hygiene products and wet wipes. These measures include limiting consumption of these items and preventing waste through specific labeling requirements.
The guidelines are intended to ensure that the new rules are applied properly and consistently across the EU.
Do you have questions about specific plastic products and their obligations? Then please feel free to contact us. Our consulting team will help you with questions regarding the labeling obligation, extended producer responsibility or the use of recyclates in packaging.