SINGLE-USE PLASTICS DIRECTIVE

The EU is going to reduce pollution from single-use disposable plastic with the SUP Directive, or Single-use plastics Directive. Litter products such as straws, plates and cutlery will be banned as of July 3.
This is how the EU wants to reduce the plastic soup.

Our new Cup Count Campaign anticipates the responsibility that companies will have in combating litter. Help us with photos of drinking cups to determine the price that companies will have to pay for cleaning up.

CUP COUNT CAMPAIGN

Frans Timmermans and the SUP Directive

EU publication 'Turning the tide on single-use plastics'

The EU, with Vice President Frans Timmermans leading the way, is working to reduce plastic litter, cause of the plastic soup. In early 2018, we were there when Frans Timmermans explained his plan.

Plastic litter at the beaches
On July 3, EU countries will introduce the Single-use Plastics Directive (SUP Directive). This aims at reducing the disposable plastics that pollute the beaches the most and thus contribute the to the plastic soup.
The measure focuses on single-use plastics: the 10 most commonly found disposable plastics at beaches make up 43% of marine litter (fishing gear another 27%). Some will be banned, others will have a label about plastic in the product, yet others will require industry to contribute to collection and cleanup.

Banned products

As of July 3, there is a ban on:

  • plastic cotton buds and balloon sticks
  • plastic plates, cutlery, stirrers and straws
  • Styrofoam drinks and food packaging (disposable cups, one-person meals, McDonalds, etc..
  • products made of oxo-degradable plastics, which degrade into microplastics

Our Vision
The bans on these single-use plastic products are a necessary step in the fight against the plastic soup. We are pleased that the EU has taken this first step. Of course, many more single-use plastic products and packaging will have to be banned. Think, for example, of the foil around a straw, the plastic lid through which a cardboard straw sticks. We also find a lot of these as plastic waste in the environment. It remains important to collect data on this and take action.

Labels on plastic products

As of July 3 sigarette filters, drinking cups, wet wipes, sanitary towels and tampons will receive a label indicating the product contains plastic, that it belongs in the trash, and that litter has negative effects on the environment:

Our vision
Labels usually have poor effects, so we have low expectations. For example, Coca Cola put big recycle me label on the caps of their plastic bottles in 2018, but it did not reduce the Cola Cola litter.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Producers will have to pay for the collection of waste, cleaning up litter and raising awareness among consumers.

As of 5-01-2023, this applies to cigarette filters, drinking cups, one-person meals, bags, wrappers and plastic carrier bags. As of 31-12-2024, also for balloons, wet wipes, sanitary napkins, tampons and fishing gear.

Our vision
Making companies responsible for reducing (plastic) litter is very much in line with our vision of combating plastic pollution and plastic soup. We hope that this measure will be developed in such a way that it becomes financially attractive for companies to reduce the plastic waste of their products to (almost) zero through collection and cleaning. This is based on the 'polluter pays' principle.

This responsibility requires good monitoring by the government and municipalities. We would like to see that this monitoring also includes the data of the Plastic Avengers and other voluntary litter pickers. Data like we collect with our Plastic Avengers App.

Cup Count Campaign

Dirk Groot and Merijn Tinga, the Plastic Soup Surfer, launch the Cup Count Campaign (in Dutch)

Much is still uncertain about the implementation of the EPR. We wonder how and how much the producers will pay for cleaning up litter from their products and how effective this will be.

In our new campaign, Dirk Groot and I will focus on one of these products: littered cups. Millions of them every year in The Netherlands. We want to use large numbers of photos of such cups to determine the price of cleaning up one single cup. With the actual cost of litter, we want to steer decision-making in the right direction.

Will you help by sending us photos of litter cup? Go to the Cup Count Campaign.

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