The amount of plastic waste in oceans and seas is growing fast and is present everywhere. On 28 May 2018, the European Commission presented a comprehensive package of measures in the new one-way directive aimed at tackling the important problems of pollution and marine pollution. An additional goal is to promote the circular economy. On 19 December, the EU ban on disposable plastic products came to fruition. Negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU states agreed on the details in Brussels.


The application
In May 2018, the European Commission proposed new EU-wide regulations covering the ten plastic disposable products most commonly found on Europe's beaches and in the oceans, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear. The proposal takes off on items such as plastic straws, balloon sticks, earsticks, etc., and allows only sustainable materials as an alternative. In addition, a reduction in consumption of plastic cups, plates and containers for single use is sought. Further measures to strengthen producer responsibility will be introduced in the field of waste management and environmental awareness. In addition, industry is incentivized to develop greener alternatives for these products.


It is an extensive package of measures as these types of disposable products are rightly considered to be the major part of the problem. Together, they account for 70% of all marine pollution. Many plastic waste is flushed into the oceans, where it can take centuries before they are completely mined - they also accumulate on beaches, around the world and also in the EU. Residues of plastic are now found in marine life such as turtles, seals, whales and birds, but also in fish and shellfish and ultimately reach the food chain as well of the human. Plastics are practical, adaptable, useful and economically valuable material - but they need to be better used, reused and recycled - for disposables, plastic is totally inappropriate!


Our view
EU Parliament and EU countries had slightly changed the plans in the legislative process. You have yet to officially confirm the agreement of the negotiators - but this is considered a formality. The changes are expected to come into effect in just over two years. Because, in the first step, responsible use of single use products is crucial, we believe this package offers a chance for consumers to change their behavior. All of our products are made from renewable, biodegradable and compostable (raw) materials such as sugar cane, palm leaf, paper and cardboard. Of course, we also support the legislative guidelines for responsible production and consumption, the prevention of waste and the recycling of raw materials.