Which single-use plastics should we ban?

Warning for disposable plastic from July 2021

Hygiene products such as sanitary towels, tampons and tampon applicators as well as wet wipes, tobacco products with plastic-containing filters or plastic-containing filters for use in tobacco products and disposable beverage cups are the first. These products are among the most problematic types of waste and are particularly common in polluting the beaches of the European Union. Further products can later be included in the regulation. An EU-wide ban on these products has so far been out of the question because there are currently no ecologically more sensible alternatives for them. However, the European Union has announced that it will evaluate the directive by 2027 and revise it if necessary. It is expected that further useful alternatives will come onto the market through innovation and product development. An extension of the bans will therefore also be examined as part of the evaluation.

A transition period applies to manufacturers until July 3, 2022, during which they can temporarily attach non-removable stickers to their products. In this way, products that have already been manufactured but not yet released by the manufacturer can be labeled with little effort. A sale of unmarked products by the retailer remains possible even after the appointment. This prevents usable goods from having to be senselessly destroyed. Since the products have to be labeled EU-wide and the import of unlabelled products from non-EU countries is prohibited in future, it is ensured that unlabelled products gradually disappear from the market.

In addition, the Disposable Plastic Labeling Ordinance stipulates that the closures and lids of plastic beverage containers must be firmly attached to the beverage container from July 3, 2024. This new rule is intended to prevent the severed caps and lids from ending up in the environment.

After the decision in the cabinet, the ordinance must pass the Bundestag, and the Bundesrat must approve. The regulations are to come into force across Europe on July 3, 2021 together with the one-way plastic ban.

02/10/2021 | Press release No. 021/21 | Resource efficiency