The Single-use plastic Directive i.e. SUPD means the Directive (EU)2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.
The original purpose of the SUPD was to respond to the global plastic litter problem in the marine environment by targeting measures on certain plastic products, most found on beaches, but it has expanded to concern single-use products in general.
Which products belong to the scope of the SUPD?
- certain single-use plastic products
- all plastic products made from oxo-degradable plastic
- all fishing gear containing plastic
What types of packaging are considered single-use plastic products that belong to the scope of the SUPD?
SUP packaging is certain single-use plastic containing ready-to-eat food packaging, certain beverage packaging and cups for beverages with their caps and lids as well as plastic bags offered to consumers at the point of sales.
What measures does the Directive require?
Depending on the product category the requirements include reduction of consumption, product bans, product marking requirements, requirements related to the properties of the products as well as the so-called extended producer responsibility and awareness raising measures.
What obligations does the SUPD create to companies with producer responsibility?
Some examples are the obligation to reduce the consumption of SUP cups for beverages and SUP food containers, product requirements for SUP beverage containers (incl. caps remaining attached to container), extended producer responsibility and separate collection of SUP beverage bottles.
In addition, companies with producer responsibility are required to pay an SUP fee which means that part of the municipalities’ cleaning costs of public areas is transferred to be paid by packaging producers. Companies with producer responsibility must also educate consumers on preventing littering.
The SUPD also increases reporting obligations when data on the volume of SUP products put on the market is needed for monitoring the SUP requirements.
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Further information on the SUPD and its implementation can be found on the webpage of the Ministry of the Environment (in Finnish).