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Yesterday the long-waited Commission guidelines on single-use plastics (SUP) were published. These guidelines facilitate a correct and harmonised application of the key parts of Directive (EU) 2019/904 on SUP, in particular, on the definition of plastic, of single-use plastic products made wholly or partly of plastic, and the different items covered by the Directive.

Please find here the associated Q&As from COM accompanying these guidelines.

The EC guidelines (click here for the complete document) make clear that the scope of the SUP Directive applies to packaging of food and drink products, which are not refillable or reusable.  As such, e.g. plastic bottles and wrapping containing plastic (as defined by REACH and the SUP directive) of food and drink products (including chewing gum products) are covered by the general provisions of the EU SUP Directive.

Please note that food packaging and wrapping are generally all viewed as “single use” (except those keeping foods protected at home such as breakfast cereals or pasta, or foods subject to further preparation such as frozen foods). To that effect, Table 3.1 of the guidelines provides the unique and non-ambiguous set of products which are currently covered by specific restrictions of the SUP Directive.  Table 4.3 defines examples of food packaging which could fall under the general provisions of the SUP directive (which include several food examples, including chewing gum).

For more information: