WDC welcomes significant move by European Commission on single-use plastics

The European Commission has put forward a proposal for a European Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.

The objective of this Directive is to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, in particular, the aquatic environment, and on human health.

Polluted beach
Polluted beach

The various plastic items are split into seven categories (Parts A – G in the Annex of the proposed Directive) and will be dealt with via consumption reductions, market restrictions (i.e. bans), product design requirements, marking requirements, extended producer responsibility, separate collection objectives and awareness-raising measures.

This means that:

- Plastic straws, cutlery, plates, stirrers, cotton bud sticks and balloon sticks will be banned!

- The Member States must achieve a 'significant' reduction of takeaway containers and beverage cups within 6 years

- All beverage containers must have the lid attached to the container

- Sanitary items, wet wipes and balloons must be labelled with a warning about the impact on the environment

- Extended producer responsibility schemes for food containers, packets and wrappers (such as for crisps and sweets), drinks containers and cups, tobacco products with filters (such as cigarette butts), wet wipes, balloons, and lightweight plastic bags

- New target for separate collection of plastic bottles of 90% by 2025, to be achieved by deposit schemes or better separate collection

- Data collection on the consumption of these items to measure reduction.

WDC welcomes this proposal and hopes that it will be accepted as soon as possible across the EU. WDC also welcomes the fact that countries are now seeing action on these issues as essential, for example, the UK announced in February a consultation on banning plastic straws in the UK.

Plastic pollution of the environment, especially the marine environment is a pressing issue, as the amount of plastic litter in our oceans is growing to the detriment of ecosystems, biodiversity and potentially human health.

You can help whales and dolphins by supporting WDC work through WDC’s notwhalefood site. Be a plastic hero!

Plastic bottles