Yesterday, October 24th, the European Parliament has adopted its negotiating position on the Commission proposal on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. Many MEPs shared EuPC position in limiting the scope of a proposal that, since the beginning, has been rushed by the European Commission with possible negative effects for health and hygiene.
Nonetheless, the majority of MEPs have voted to limit single use plastics, not only keeping the vary vague definition of single use as proposed by the Commission, but moreover increasing the categories of items to be reduced or banned.
Some MEPs have nevertheless understood the impact that such proposal can have for many European SMEs and the consequences of choosing an alternative without sound Life Cycle Assessment. In this regard, EuPC Managing Director, Alexandre Dangis, says: “It would be much better to set up a European Anti-littering Regulation (the same for all EU consumers) instead of banning products that will be replaced by other less environmentally friendly alternatives. Industry is ready to discuss this with regulators in order to enhance more waste collection, improve education, keep an EU internal market and avoid killing jobs in many SMEs. This may well lead to a piece of impractical additional EU legislation with many different interpretations at national level without coherent approach.”
Plates or specific polymer, like expanded polystyrene, do not appear in the Joint Research Centre Study that the Commission has used as a basis for its Risk Assessment. We fear that the rationale of the Directive, initially meant to cover the 10 most littered items, has been largely expanded to cover different plastics packaging categories. Many of these items are covered by the recently revised Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive, which has not had the time yet to deliver. The recent Waste Directives must be implemented and ensure that national measures for anti-littering behaviors are carried out for all packaging of any material, not only plastics.
For this reason, in the light of the coming activities and Trilogue, European Plastics Converters urge again MEPs and representatives of the Member States to stop this legislative process and take the time to understand what will be the impact of this Directive in reality for people and jobs in Europe.