Plastics industry produces statement on the publication of EU SUP Guidelines

Brus­sels — Smart Pack­ag­ing Europe has co-signed a state­ment, along with 10 oth­er organ­i­sa­tions, on the pub­li­ca­tion of Euro­pean Commission’s Sin­gle-Use Plas­tics Guidelines.

The Sin­gle-Use Plas­tic (SUP) Direc­tive of 2019 pro­hib­it­ed the use of some sin­gle-use plas­tics in the EU from the 3rd of July. The ban includes some food box­es and cups made of expand­ed poly­styrene, which rep­re­sent­ed a small por­tion of EPS uses in Europe. Sub­se­quent­ly, the Com­mis­sion pub­lished Guide­lines on the 31st of  May 2021 regard­ing the inter­pre­ta­tion and imple­men­ta­tion of such Directive.

In the new state­ment, the 11 organ­i­sa­tions stressed that the Guide­lines “do not pro­vide the much-need­ed clar­i­fi­ca­tion mar­ket stake­hold­ers have repeat­ed­ly called for” and not­ed that such Direc­tive could “frag­ment the Sin­gle Mar­ket dur­ing its trans­po­si­tion and the Guide­lines could have helped mit­i­gate it.”

The state­ment high­lights the widen­ing of the scope of the Guide­lines, as it might go much fur­ther than what pol­i­cy­mak­ers had man­dat­ed when adopt­ing the leg­isla­tive text. This espe­cial­ly con­cerns the lack of regard for sev­er­al of the essen­tial pro­vi­sions of the Direc­tive such as the def­i­n­i­tion of ‘imme­di­ate, on-the-spot or take away’ con­sump­tion or the mean­ing of  ‘ten­den­cy to become lit­ter due to its vol­ume or size, in par­tic­u­lar sin­gle-serve por­tion food pack­ag­ing’ (as opposed to food pack­ag­ing sold in more than one unit / multipacks).

The state­ment called for future pol­i­cy pro­pos­als to “stick to all key ele­ments of the leg­is­la­tion, and for the assess­ment to ful­ly cov­er the ulti­mate impact of EU poli­cies.” It urged the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to “ensure that the even­tu­al­ly imple­ment­ed mea­sures are based on an appro­pri­ate inter­pre­ta­tion of the Direc­tive and to use the eval­u­a­tion of trans­po­si­tion of SUP Direc­tive as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to address the frag­men­ta­tion of the Sin­gle Market.”

You can read the full state­ment here.


AuthorDaniel Costa