Europe-wide ban on disposable plastic products expected as of 3 July 2021

On 6 November 2020, Germany’s Bundesrat approved an ordinance banning certain disposable plastic products, subject to minor semantic changes. The objective of this ordinance is to improve the management of the resource “plastic” and to curb the careless dumping of waste into the environment. With this ordinance, the German federal government implements the provisions of the European Union’s Disposable Plastics Directive into German law on a one-to-one basis. Deliberate or negligent breaches of the prohibition constitute an administrative offence under the Regulation. They can now be punished with a fine of up to 100,000 euros. According to the federal government’s plans, the ordinance is to be promulgated by the end of this year. The provisions would then take effect uniformly throughout Europe on 3 July 2021.

On 6 November 2020, Germany’s Bundesrat approved an ordinance banning certain disposable plastic products, subject to minor semantic changes. The objective of this ordinance is to improve the management of the resource “plastic” and to curb the careless dumping of waste into the environment.

The prohibition applies to cotton swabs, cutlery, crockery, drinking straws, stirrers and balloon sticks made of plastic as well as take-away food containers, drinking cups and receptacles made of polystyrene. In general, products made of so-called oxo-degradable plastics will be banned in future. These are substances which, after there use, are quickly broken down by oxidation into small fragments that, in turn, can hardly be degraded any further.

Deliberate or negligent breaches of the prohibition constitute an administrative offence under the regulation. They can be punished with a fine of up to 100,000 euros. The individual federal states are responsible for enforcement.

With this ordinance, the German federal government implements the provisions of the European Union’s Disposable Plastics Directive into German law on a one-to-one basis.

In an accompanying resolution, the Bundesrat requests the federal government to create incentives for extension and utilisation of reusable systems throughout the mail order business and to promote existing projects. The chamber of states also demands that the reduction of disposable plastics must not be allowed to lead to a shift towards other ecologically disadvantageous materials and therefore requests the federal government to show which substitute materials can be considered for shipping packaging from an ecological perspective.

According to the federal government’s plans, the ordinance is to be promulgated by the end of this year. The provisions would then take effect uniformly throughout Europe on 3 July 2021.

For any questions relating to disposable plastic products, please contact Boris Berndt (trade-e-bility) by calling +49/40/54090410-8 or by e-mail at info@trade-e-bility.de.

If you have any questions on the Packaging Act, please contact the take-e-way team at +49/40/750687-0 or at beratung@take-e-way.de.

Further information is available at: https://www.bundesrat.de/DE/plenum/bundesrat-kompakt/20/995/49.html;jsessionid=5115D7273D50B21B04ED880C25EB51B5.2_cid391?nn=4352768#top-49

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