Industry critical of Belgian decree that would restrict numerous single-use plastics

EU extends standstill / Measures include ban on use of PFAS in packaging


Belgium has plans to limit the sale of several disposable or single-use products while requiring increased use of recycled content in others through a new royal decree. However, the EU Commission appears to have reservations with regard to the legislative project, as the standstill period for the decree has been extended. After the decree was notified last year, the standstill period was originally due to end on 1 February. However, the review is now scheduled to run until 30 November. During this period, the decree may not enter into force.

The draft Belgian decree would regulate, or in some cases ban, the initial placing on the market of single-use plastic products. The new rules, which place a special focus on packaging, were intended to go into effect on 1 January 2024. Among the products slated for a full ban are single-use plastic containers for the distribution of food and drink for immediate consumption. The measure includes an exemption for pre-filled containers which are industrially prefilled. Another provision would ban the placing on the market of disposable cups made of cardboard with a plastic coating.

The Belgian government also seeks to forbid the sale of small batches (less than 1.5 kg) of fresh, unprocessed fruit and vegetables in disposable plastic packaging. Here, the measure would exclude "fruit and vegetables presenting a clear risk of deterioration when sold in bulk". These fragile produce items identified in the draft include edible flowers, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and currants....

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