Council approves new legislation on single-use plastics and fertiliser

22.05.2019 − 

The new EU Single-Use Plastics Directive and the Fertiliser Regulation were officially adopted by the member states at a Council meeting on Tuesday. The new EU legislation must still be signed and published in the Official Journal of the EU. Both will enter into force twenty days after publication. The application of the SUP Directive is to begin two years later. Application of the revised Fertiliser Regulation will not begin until three years after it enters into force.

The Single-Use Plastics Directive will ban the sale of numerous disposable plastic products and the sale of all oxo-degradable plastics in the EU beginning in 2021. The legislation is also intended to reduce the consumption of other single-use plastic products such as drinks cups and fast food packaging. By 2025, single-use beverages bottles must be designed so that their lids or caps remain attached throughout the usage period. The Directive introduces labelling obligations and or extended producer responsibility (EPR) on a variety of other products including plastic carrier bags, plastic cups, cigarette filters containing plastic and fishing gear. Beginning in 2025, single-use plastic beverage bottles must have a recycled content of at least 25 per cent and the separate collection rate must meet or exceed 77 per cent. In 2030, these targets will be raised to 30 and 90 per cent, respectively.

The new EU Fertilisers Regulation replaces the previous 2003 Regulation. The scope of the legislation has been broadened beyond mineral fertilisers to also cover products made of organic and secondary raw materials. It sets the criteria which fertilising products bearing the "CE marking" will have to fulfil in order to be freely traded on the EU internal market. According to the Council, these include binding maximum contaminant levels, the use of defined component material categories and labelling requirements. Manufacturers of fertilisers sold without the CE marking may continue to sell their products on their own national market.

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