Ban on single-use plastics from 2021

If you don’t want to land your business in the soup, be ready to stop using and selling your products in single-use plastic containers by 3 July 2021. On that date, the EU ban on disposable plastics comes into effect. We are talking straws, cups, cutlery, plates, but also balloon rods. Find out what changes and when.

There are currently over 150 million tons of plastic in our oceans and seas. In December 2018, representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU countries jointly agreed upon a directive to combat the ‘plastic soup’. The agreement consists of serveral measures. The first come into effect on 3 July 2021. Some disposable plastic products will be banned from that date. Other products will have to be labelled. Manufacturers of disposable plastics will have to start contributing to processing the waste. 

Ban

If a product is banned, you may no longer put it on the market from the date that the ban comes into effect. In most cases, this is 3 July 2021. You are allowed to use up your stock items. The ban also applies to products made partly from plastic, or bioplastics. 

On 3 July 2024, an additional measure takes effect: loose caps on bottles will no longer be allowed. Caps have to be affixed to the bottle.

Labelling

Do you produce disposable plastic items, and has labelling become mandatory for them? It means you have to include a message on the packaging or label. For instance, a coffee cup will have to bear the message that it contains plastic, and in which garbage container it belongs after use. The message also has to provide information about the adverse effects of litter.

EPR

EPR, or UPV in Dutch, stands for Extended Producer Responsibility. It means that you, as the producer of disposable plastic products, have to contribute to the costs of gathering waste and cleaning up litter. The EPR will be gradually introduced from 5 January 2023. The details are still being worked out.

There is more

The European Commission is planning more measures. For example: from 2025 onwards, 25% of all soda and water bottles must be made from recycled materials. That percentage increases to 30 by 2030. The precise details and entry date of the extra measures is not known yet.

Impact

The measures to combat the plastic soup affect both the consumer and businesses. The packaging industry and plastic products producers will have to find sustainable and innovative alternatives. Consumers must become more aware of the consequences of littering and the plastic soup on the environment.

Result

The European Commission aims to reduce the plastic soup, but it also expects a 3.4 Million ton reduction in CO2 emissions. Furthermore, making production processes more sustainable and reusing products will lead to savings of over 6.5 billion euros.

Deposit on bottles

The Dutch government is taking additional steps to combat litter. From 1 July 2021, a deposit of 15 cents will be in place for plastic drink bottles containing less than 1 litre. The producers of the bottles are responsible for the introduction of the deposit system. Hospitality and small businesses do not have to collect the bottles.

From 31 December 2022, soda, water, and beer cans will also carry a 15-cent deposit. How and where these cans will be collected is as yet unknown. Hospitality and small businesses will not have to collect cans.

Source: article KVK click here.