The EU is cracking down on plastic pollution. The Council today adopted a directive which introduces new restrictions on certain single-use plastic products.
The formal adoption of the new rules by the Council today is the final step in the procedure.
The single-use plastics directive builds on the EU’s existing waste legislation but goes further by setting stricter rules for those types of products and packaging which are among the top ten most frequently found items polluting European beaches. The new rules ban the use of certain throwaway plastic products for which alternatives exist. In addition, specific measures are introduced to reduce the use of the most frequently littered plastic products.
Single-use plastic products are made wholly or partly of plastic and are typically intended to be used just once or for a short period of time before they are thrown away. One of the main purposes of this directive is to reduce the amount of plastic waste which we create. Under the new rules, single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds will be banned by 2021.
Member states have agreed to achieve a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029, and plastic bottles will have to contain at least 25% of recycled content by 2025 and 30% by 2030.