The delegations of the EU institutions reached preliminary agreement Wednesday morning to ban or reduce the consumption of various single-use plastic products. The EU Parliament was successful in pushing through a provision requiring minimum recycled content for single-use plastic beverage bottles, albeit at a lower level than originally planned. Under the compromise reached by the negotiation parties, bottle makers will need to incorporate at least 25 per cent recycled content in PET bottles as of 2025, and 30 per cent beginning in 2030.
The proposed EU Directive now nearing adoption includes bans on plastic single-use straws, cutlery and plates, on plastic-stemmed cotton buds and all oxo-degradable plastic products. The Directive would also ban several products made of expanded polystyrene (EPS), namely beverage containers and cups, and containers for food that is intended for immediate consumption either on-the-spot or take-away.
Member states will be obligated to make a "measurable quantitative reduction" in the consumption of other types of single-use plastic packaging including food containers, cups and beverage containers made of plastics other than EPS. The EU Council and Parliament representatives have also agreed to introduce extended producer responsibility for cigarette filters containing plastic. According to the Austrian Council Presidency, manufacturers will be required to cover the cost of public collection systems for cigarette butts.