The European Parliament has approved a complete ban on a range of single-use plastic products such as plates, cutlery and balloon sticks with readily available, non-plastic alternatives by 2021.
These single-use plastics that are banned by EU cover almost 70 percent of marine litter, according to the European Commission.
The legislation also calls for a reduction in single-use plastics for food and drink containers like plastic cups as well as plastic items that do not have a non-plastic alternative. The new rules require EU member states to reduce such items by at least 25% by 2025.
This is expected to impact the food service and retail sector that use plastics packaging such as single-use burger boxes, sandwich boxes and food containers for fruits, vegetables, desserts or ice creams. Drinks bottles mostly made of PET would have to be collected separately and recycled at a rate of 90% by 2025 under the proposed legislation. The average recycling rate for PET drinks bottles across Europe at the moment is 57%, although this varies significantly by country.
There is an urgent need for governments across the globe to work together with brands, retailers and industry to identify and implement the most effective solutions to reduce plastics waste ending up in the oceans. The new legislation is a step in this direction.
Get up-to-date on the PET recycling, PET packaging market in Europe at CMT’s 20th GEPET & Recycling on 8-9 May, 2019 in Madrid.