EU – The EU member states of the European Council ultimately gave the green light for the new guidelines on disposable plastic products on May 21, 2019. After the official approval of the new regulations, the legislation process is now complete. The guideline on disposable plastic items is based on the valid EU waste law and stipulates stricter regulations for certain items and packaging, in order to curb the pollution of the seas. The usage of certain disposable products made of plastic, which there are alternatives for, will be banned by 2021, including plastic plates and cutlery as well as straws, balloon holders and cotton buds made of plastic. There are also new regulations for the recycling of plastic bottles and so-called oxo-degradable plastics. Measures for the reduction of the consumption of food packaging and drinking cups made of plastic are also being introduced as well as the special marking and labelling of certain products. The goal the EU member states have set themselves regarding plastic bottles is to attain a collection rate of 90% by 2029 and to achieve a recycling share of 25% by 2025, which is to be increased up to 30% by 2030. Furthermore, for drinks vessels with a capacity of up to three litres, the lids have to be securely attached to the bottle.
The EU member states have two years to transpose the bans and labelling obligations into national law. The provision that the lids have to be attached to the drinks vessels has to be implemented within five years after the directive has come into force.