Today, the Council adopted the Single-Use Plastics Directive.

One of the key outcomes is the introduction of an EU wide market restriction for several plastic products such as cotton bud sticks, plates, or food containers made of expanded polystyrene.

The new rules introduced by the Directive also includes:

  • Measures to reduce the consumption of plastic food containers and beverage cups e.g. by setting national reduction targets, or ensuring that single-use plastic products cannot be provided free of charge
  • Extended Producer Responsibility schemes covering the cost to clean-up litter, applied to products such as tobacco filters and fishing gear
  • Increased collection target for plastic bottles
  • Marking requirements, etc.

The adoption by the Council was the last step before the publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

The Directive should enter into force twenty days after the publication – which is expected in the coming days – and then, the Member States will have two years to transpose most of the provisions into their national law.

In the coming months, the Commission should issue guidelines to help Members States to implement the Directive as well as several implementing acts. Nonetheless, the Commission already express some concerns given the tight deadlines set by the Directive.