Opinion Factsheet  

Proposal for a single-use plastics directive

Opinion Number: CDR 3652/2018
Rapporteur: HERTELL Sirpa
Group: EPP (European People's Party)
Commission: ENVE
Status: Adopted
Date: 10/10/2018

- welcomes the European Commission proposal, while noting that its scope is quite narrow; states that a more holistic approach as envisaged in the EU Plastic Strategy and in the EU Circular Economy Strategy is necessary in the long term to promote the fundamental changes which are necessary to address this problem covering all the environments and that broad policy coherence with the Circular Economy Package is needed;

- calls for the extension of the directive to any disposable non-degradable plastic item and to enlarge it to the entire aquatic ecosystem, including freshwater and shallow sea;

- calls for plastics degradable in aquatic environments, biodegradable modified natural polymers and synthetic polymers not to be defined as "plastic";

- argues that Member States and their local or regional authorities should also be able to limit the use of single-use plastic products other than those listed in the directive to protect the most sensitive ecosystems;

- proposes controlled combustion for beverage bottles when plastic cannot be recovered in other ways at a reasonable cost or where recycling would result in a higher carbon footprint;

- asks for the Committee of the Regions to receive the report evaluating the directive after six years;

- asks the European Commission to present a comprehensive impact assessment clearly outlining the social, economic and environmental implications of the proposed measures;

- calls for better definitions of "plastic" and "single-use plastic product", recommending the definition of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC);

- supports the application of the polluter-pays principle, including for fishing gear and stresses the need to implement new solutions for environmentally safe fishing gear,

- calls for incentives and support measures for more than 50 000 SMEs in the plastics sector to develop sustainable alternatives to non-degradable disposable plastics;

- proposes retailers commitments and voluntary agreements in certain circumstances;

- advocates restrictions to import of disposable plastics;

- emphasises that incentives, support for development and enhanced control, as well as activities for cleaning up disposable plastic waste, should be financed through taxes on the import and manufacture of disposable plastic materials.



Stakeholders consultation

The Rapporteur hosted at the CoR a large stakeholders consultation inviting the regional representation offices and a large list of stakeholders active on the file.

05 Sep