Ecopreneur.eu welcomes the final decision of the European Council and Parliament concerning restrictions on a range of disposable plastic products. On Wednesday morning a legislative text was finally accepted after a long-term decision-making process.
The first proposal on waste reduction for single-use plastics was put forward by the European Commission (EC) back in May. Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation, has welcomed the proposal from the start and is positive about the decisiveness of the EU on this matter. The restrictions on various single-use plastic products are in line with Ecopreneur.eu’s advocacy to use regulation to ban the most polluting products from the EU market.
What is more, in September Ecopreneur.eu co-signed a letter from a broad NGO coalition including Zero Waste Europe, the EEB and WWF supporting the recent proposal of the EC for legislation to curb single-use plastics. The NGOs responded to a letter from the European Packaging industry, that was trying to weaken and water down the legislative proposal.
Despite all the debates, finally accepted measures include:
- Prohibition of plastic cutlery, plates and straws, cotton bud sticks, balloon sticks, drinks stirrers, and all oxo-degradable plastic products, which break down to produce polluting microplastic fragments.
- Ensuring the mandatory use of recycled plastic in drinks bottles. They have to contain at least 25% recycled material by 2025 and after 2030 this number is growing up to 30%.
- Making sure, that manufacturers are paying for their waste management as well as clean up a number of single-use plastic items under an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme, including cigarette butts and fishing gear.
At the same time, Ecopreneur.eu repeats that much more is needed to reduce plastic waste. Government measures should include price incentives such as extended producer responsibility (EPR) not only for selected products categories, banning intentionally added microplastics, expansion of the Ecodesign Directive to include resource efficiency, and deliver free training on circular procurement. To incentivise the consumer to reduce plastic waste, VAT measures should be considered as well.