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EU action on plastic products

The EU rules on single-use plastics, approved in May 2019, refer to the 10 singe-use plastic items and fishing gear lost or abandoned which most frequently pollute the Europan beaches and waters. These wastes represent 70 % of wastes in the seas.

The rules prohibit singe-use plastic items for which there is a non-plastic alternative. Other measures aim at reducing the consumption of plastics which most often go to landfills; extending the liability of manufacturers; changing the design of certain products; informing and raising customer awareness.

Starting 2021 single-use plastic cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers and balloon sticks, as well as plastic food and beverages containers, including expanded polystyrene plastic glasses will be prohibited. These items will have to be manufactured from sustainable materials or replaced by alternative recyclable products. All items made of oxo-degradable plastics will also be banned.