Directive (EU) 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment

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Publication Date 12/06/2019
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Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 aiming to reduce the amount of single-plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear.

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Single Use Plastic (SUP) items represent about half of all marine litter items found on European beaches. This initiative focuses on the ten most found SUP and fishing gear. Where alternatives are readily available and affordable, single-use plastic products are to be banned from the market. For products without straight-forward alternatives, the focus is on limiting their use through a national reduction in consumption; design and labeling requirements and waste management/clean-up obligations for producers. The initiative delivers on the commitment made in the European Plastics Strategy to tackle wasteful and damaging plastic litter through legislative action.

The European Commission presented its proposal on 28 May 2018. The European Parliament's plenary session approved its negotiating position on 24 October, followed by the Council of the European Union on 31 October. An informal agreement between the institutions on a compromise text was reached on 19 December. The Parliament's plenary session formally endorsed the proposed Directive on 27 March 2019, followed by the Council on 21 May.

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Commentary and Analysis
European Environmental Bureau: News, 28/05/2018: European Commission steps forward to cut down on single-use plastics – but it’s just the beginning
The Independent, 06/06/2018: How McDonald's, Burger King, and Subway have responded to the EU’s plastic clampdown
EPRS: Briefing, October 2018: Marine litter: single-use plastics and fishing gear [Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment]
EPRS: Plenary At a Glance, October 2018: Marine litter: Single-use plastics and fishing gear
Euro|topics, October 2018: What can a ban on throwaway plastics achieve?
EPRS: Briefing, November 2018: Single-use plastics and fishing gear. Reducing marine litter
EurActiv, 04/03/2019: European innovators ready to lead change on plastic waste
EurActiv, 21/05/2019: How can EU members make good on new single-use plastics law?

The Guardian, 28/05/2018: EU challenges UK to 'race to the top' on plastics reduction
Reuters, 28/05/2018: EU moves to ban single-use plastics, 05/06/2018: Switzerland has no intention of banning single-use plastics
BBC News, 24/10/2018: Single-use plastics ban approved by European Parliament
EurActiv, 24/10/2018: MEPs crank up crusade against single-use plastics
Reuters, 27/03/2019: EU lawmakers back ban on single-use plastics, set standard for world
The Guardian, 27/03/2019: European parliament votes to ban single-use plastics
TIME, 28/03/2019: EU sets standard with ban on single-use plastics by 2021
Deutsche Welle, 28/03/2019: EU Parliament backs ban on single-use plastic products

EUR-Lex: COM(2018)340: Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)254: Impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)255: Executive summary of the impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)256: Implementation plan
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)257: Synopsis report: Stakeholder consultation
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File on Reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment
European Parliament: Legislative Train: Single-use plastics and fishing gear: reducing marine litter from plastics
European Commission: Press Release, 28/05/2018: Single-use plastics: New EU rules to reduce marine litter
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 28/05/2018: Single-use plastics: New EU rules to reduce marine litter [Q&A]
European Parliament: Press Release, 24/10/2018: Plastic oceans: MEPs back EU ban on throwaway plastics by 2021
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 31/10/2018: EU action to restrict plastic pollution: Council agrees its position
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 19/12/2018: Single-use plastics: Presidency reaches provisional agreement with Parliament
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 18/01/2019: Single-use plastics: member states confirm agreement which bans certain throwaway plastic items
European Parliament: Press Release, 27/03/2019: Parliament seals ban on throwaway plastics by 2021
European Commission: Statement, 27/03/2019: Circular economy: Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of new rules on single–use plastics to reduce marine litter
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 21/05/2019: Council adopts ban on single-use plastics

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