European Union Bans Disposable Plastic Products

- Nov 19, 2018-

European Union bans disposable plastic products, polymer additives expressed concern

Europen, the European packaging and Environment Organisation, welcomed the European Parliament's blanket ban on single-use plastic products but expressed concern about certain elements deemed to be "under-vetted" .

On October 24th meps voted overwhelmingly for a directive that would ban the use of disposable plastic plates, straws and swabs before 2021.

Under a directive submitted by the European Commission at the end of May, further recycling measures will be introduced in the region to ensure that 90 per cent of plastic bottles are recycled by 2025.

On October 24th members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the ban

The European Commission welcomes the coordinated action to tackle the plastic waste problem, but regrets the removal of safeguards on the internal market of disposable plastic products, including packaging.

"This will weaken the policy coherence of other EU regulations on waste and packaging, " Europen said in a statement on October 24

According to a previous statement from Europen, the directive does not reflect the principle of "better regulation" and provides different legal interpretations at the EU and national levels.

For example, the packaging and packaging waste directive (PPWD) has 114 provisions on the "Internal Market" as its legal basis to protect the free circulation of packaging products in the EU. However, the legal basis for the anti-subsidy law is Article 192 on environmental protection.

"PPWD and its harmonized 'basic requirements' shall remain the only applicable legislation applicable to all packaging design and marking requirements, " said Virginia Janssens, Managing Director of Europen

"Likewise, " she added, "The waste framework directive should remain the only legal text addressing the extended responsibilities of producers, the roles defined by the state and the responsibilities of participants. Incentives should be implemented for all value chain partners to ensure cost-effective outcomes, according to the extent that each participant can control. It should be no different from cleaning up the rubbish."

According to Hans van Bochove, president of the European Commission, the lack of legal clarity will undermine years of significant investment in the packaging supply chain, waste collection and sorting.

"legal clarity is essential to support these investments, but is lacking in cases where, for example, packaging is in the disposable plastic category and packaging is not. In addition, design requirements with a significant impact, such as restricted proposals, should be based on established facts and a thorough impact assessment,"he noted.

The Europen call calls on meps to "take the time to carefully assess the actual impact of the proposed legislation on disposable plastics in order to ensure that it achieves its desired environmental objectives in a co-ordinated EU internal market"