The European Parliament has strongly endorsed the Single-Use Plastics Directive in its plenary meeting on Wednesday. The last outstanding step for the Directive's final adoption is now its approval by the Council of Ministers.
The plenary’s support for the compromise agreed shortly before Christmas by representatives of the Parliament, Council and EU Commission was strong. The Directive on “the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment” was adopted with 560 votes in favour, 35 against and 28 abstentions.
The new Directive will ban specific disposable plastic products and require the member states to “measurably reduce” the consumption of certain other single-use articles. It will also introduce extended producer responsibility for cigarette filters containing plastic. The Directive also contains rules on fishing and aquaculture equipment containing plastic such as nets.
An important legislative innovation from the recycling and waste management industry’s point of view is the introduction of a minimum recycled content for single-use plastic beverage bottles. It is set at 25 per cent from 2025 and rises to 30 per cent from 2030. In addition, the EU members will be required to collect at least 77 per cent of these bottles from 2025 and 90 per cent from 2029.