EU announces new Plastics Strategy

12 June 2018

The European Commission unveiled its long-awaited legislation on single-use plastics on 28 May 2018.

“Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food.”
Frans Timmermans, European Commission Vice President

The Plastics Strategy proposes to ban the sale of plastic plates, cutlery, stirrers and straws, sticks for balloons and cotton buds with plastic stalks. The proposed new Directive would also restrict other single-use plastic products and tighten controls on fishing gear.

Plastic bottles, food containers, wrappers, packaging, sanitary towels, wet wipes, balloons, lightweight plastic bags and cigarette filters would not be banned, but would be subject to labelling requirements for extended producer responsibility measures to force industry to pay for collection.

With this proposal, the Commission intends to increase plastic collection targets to generate the necessary volumes for a thriving plastic recycling industry. The proposal is in part a response to China’s ban on imports of certain waste streams. Similar to paper waste, plastics waste was also covered by the Chinese ban.

Contact: Laetitia Reynaud