Reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment
On 28 May 2018, the Commission adopted a proposal for a new Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, including new rules targeting the ten single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, and lost/abandoned fishing gear. These items constitute 70% of all marine litter items. The measures include bans, consumption reduction targets or obligations for producers to help cover the costs of waste management and clean-up.
The co-legislators reached an agreement on 19 December 2018. Plastic cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, beverage stirrers, balloons sticks, products made of oxo-degradable plastic and food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene will be banned from 2021. Member States will take measures to achieve a reduction in the consumption of cups and food containers. These measures shall achieve a measurable quantitative reduction by 2026 compared to 2022. Bottles will have tethered caps from 2024 and be made of 25% of recycled content by 2025 for PET bottles (30 % by 2030 for all bottles). 90% of plastic bottles will have to be separately collected by 2029. For fishing gear, Member States will set up national minimum collection rate for recycling, and will monitor fishing gear placed on the market, as well as waste fishing gear collected, with a view to the establishment of binding quantitative Union targets for collection.
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