The European Commission published on 28 May its Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. The proposal includes a series of measures that aim at reducing in the European Union the consumption and production of the 10 single-use plastic products most frequently found on Europe´s beaches and seas.

The proposal should contribute significantly to Europe´s transition towards a Circular Economy, and to reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the EU´s climate commitments. It should also enable Europe to become a world leader in sustainable solutions for plastics´ production and use. The European Commission believes that it could drive change on a global level via the G7 and G20 negotiations, if they can demonstrate clear commitment and lead by example. According to EU statistics, the new measures should enable to avoid 3.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions, environmental damages amounting to the equivalent of €22 billion by 2030, and to save €6.5 billion for consumers.

The proposed new measures are the following:

  • a ban of certain single-use plastics (cotton buds, cutlery, straws etc.),
  • a reduction of plastic food containers’ consumption,
  • an obligation for producers to cover waste management costs and for member states to collect 90% of single-use plastic drinks bottles by 2025,
  • a labelling requirement that should indicate environmental footprint and waste management information,
  • and an obligation for member states to raise consumers´ awareness about the negative impact of littering of single-use plastics and available waste management options.

For further information, please read the press release of the European Commission.