Implementation of the Plastics Directive by 3 July 2021
From 3 July 2021, a revolution is coming to the packaging industry. The so-called Plastic Directive, i.e. the European Parliament's directive on limiting the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, will come into force. The implementation of the directive means a reorganisation of the business model in the HoReCa market. Given the scale of this revolution and the clear problems for both the effective implementation of the SUP Directive and the ongoing review of the Packaging Directive, we would like to introduce you to the topic in a slightly softer form.
Reminder: The Commission is continuously refining guidelines for single-use plastic products
What is the ban on single-use plastic products?
Article 5 of the Plastics Directive (SUP) provides for a ban on ten single-use plastic products. The ban will cover a narrow group of products in the catering sector, such as popular polystyrene menuboxes, polystyrene cups, cutlery, straws or plates made of plastic.
The criteria for the excluded products are:
- the material from which they are made,
- intended for direct consumption on the spot.
The planned directive does not apply to all plastic products, nor even to all single-use products. Below are the PP, r-PET, PET, PS, OPS, XPP (EPP) plastic products from our portfolio, that will not be affected by the ban:
- confectionery packaging,
- sealing containers,
- osalad containers,
- lunch containers (soups, ready meals, etc.),
- soup containers and menuboxes in XPP (EPP),
- sushi containers,
- disposable cups.
These are all food packages that are not intended for direct consumption.
The main points of the Plastics Directive:
- a ban on the placing on the market of a certain products,
- a reduction in the consumption of certain plastic products,
- requirements to affix permanent caps to bottles,
- labelling requirements for certain single-use products,
- introduction of producer responsibility for eight groups of single-use products.
Adapting to the new EU standards will be a challenge for industries producing packaging and packaged goods. The timetable for the introduction of the new requirements is presented below:
- From 3 July 2021, a ban on the marketing of 10 plastic single-use products,
- From 3 July 2021, all single-use cups, whether plastic or paper, must be labelled with specific graphics,
- from 3 January 2025, plastic caps and lids will only be allowed on the market if they are permanently attached to bottles and containers,
- from 2025 all plastic bottles must be made of a minimum of 25% recycled material, and from 2030 - w 30%,
- the collection and recycling rate for single-use plastic beverage bottles is to be 77% by 2025 and 90% by 2029 - 90%.
Good to know!!! Also from 3 July 2021, special labelling will appear on the packaging of single-use products containing plastics.All disposable cups, plastic as well as paper, must be labelled with specific graphics defined by the regulation. The customer will be informed, among other things, about the incorrect way of throwing the cups away and its consequences for the environment (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2151 of 17 December 2020 setting out rules concerning harmonised specifications with regard to the labelling of single-use plastic products listed in part D of the Annex to Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the environmental impact of some plastic products).
Roadmap (schedule) for the introduction of the Plastics Directive:
Current stage - Green box
3 January 2021
Preparation by the EC of methods for measuring consumption of goods subject to consumption restriction
3 July 2021
Preparation of measures to reduce the consumption of some plastic packaging
3 July 2021
Tightening up the rules on plastic products
31 December 2024
Introduction of extended producer responsibility for plastic containers, packages and wrappers, bottles, cups and bags
3 January 2025
Introduction of a requirement to attach caps to plastic bottles
31 December 2025
Introduction of new minimum requirements (-55%) for the recycling of packaging
31 December 2025
Introduce a requirement for 25 percent of PET beverage bottles to be made from recycled material (average for all bottles placed on the market)
31 December 2025
Require 77% of plastic bottles to be separately collected
31 December 2026
Measurable reduction in consumption of some packaging (e.g. plastic takeaway containers) relative to 2022 levels.
31 December 2029
Introducing a requirement for 90 percent of plastic bottles to be separately collected
31 December 2030
Require 30% of PET beverage bottles to be made from recycled material (average for all bottles placed on the market)
31 December 2030
Introduction of new minimum requirements for the recycling of packaging-70%
The initiative set out in the Directive should also be seen in a broader context - we are talking about a closed loop economy (it can also be a internal or circular economy). In the closed loop economy approach, if waste is already produced, it should be treated as secondary raw materials and used for reproduction. The implementation of closed loop economy principles should be a priority.Read more about the closed loop economy.
The idea of zero waste is also worth mentioning here. The zero waste trend focuses on reducing waste as much as possible at several stages: production, purchasing, use and waste management. With the right strategy and education, we can all begin to see the valuable resources in our waste and direct it to the right place for recycling.
Let us remember, above all, good segregation.
Returning to the issue of the Plastics Directive, we would like to remind you that the limitation on the use of plastics in trade and catering is nothing new. Instead of plastic, products and packaging made from paper, sugar cane, wood, bamboo or wheat bran, among others, are being introduced.