Circular economy: Commission provides guidance for harmonised application of Single-Use Plastic rules and advances on monitoring of fishing gear
The European Commission recently (31 May 2021) provided guidance on the EU rules on single-use plastics and adopts an Implementing Decision on the monitoring and reporting of fishing gear placed on the market and waste fishing gear collected. These rules aim to reduce marine litter from single-use plastic products and fishing gear and promote the transition to a circular economy with innovative and sustainable business models, products, and materials.
Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans recently said:
"Reducing the use of single-use plastics helps protect the health of people and the planet. The European Union's rules are a landmark achievement in addressing marine litter. They also stimulate sustainable business models, and bring us closer to a circular economy where reuse precedes single-use. This is what the European Green Deal is all about – protecting and restoring our natural environment while stimulating businesses to innovate."
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius recently said:
”The negative impacts of plastic litter on the environment, on oceans and marine life, and on our health are global and drastic. Plastic waste keeps on accumulating, and 11 000 tonnes of fishing gear are lost or discarded at sea in the EU per year, adding to the problem of ghost fishing. The rules to reduce plastic pollution are ambitious and respond to citizens' calls for decisive action, making the EU a forerunner in the global fight against marine litter. Today we move closer to dealing with the grave impacts of single use plastic products and abandoned fishing gear, and advance to a more circular economy.”
According to the 2019 EU rules on single-use plastics, by 3 July this year Member States have to ensure that certain single-use plastic products are no longer placed on the EU market. Those are selected products for which affordable plastic-free alternatives exist on the market: cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, balloons sticks, as well as some products made of expanded polystyrene (cups and food and beverage containers) and all products made of oxo-degradable plastic. For other plastic products, such as fishing gear, single use plastic bags, bottles, beverage and food containers for immediate consumption, packets and wrappers, tobacco filters, sanitary items and wet wipes, different measures apply. These include limiting their use, reducing their consumption and preventing littering through labelling requirements, extended producer responsibility schemes (“polluter pays principle”), awareness campaigns and product design requirements.
The Guidelines aim to ensure that the new rules are applied correctly and uniformly across the EU. Harmonised transposition into national legislation is important for the smooth functioning of the internal market with respects to the products covered by those rules. The guidelines explain key definitions and terms and were developed through extensive consultations with Member States and interactions with a wide range of stakeholders.
The Implementing Decision on monitoring and reporting of fishing gear placed on the market and waste fishing gear collected enables Member States to fulfil their obligation to report, from 2022, on fishing gear containing plastic placed on the market and fishing gear collected at sea. The aim is to incentivise bringing all fishing gear ashore and improving its handling there by involving extended producer responsibility schemes.
Furthermore, on the basis of the data, Member States with marine waters will have to set, by 31 December 2024, a national minimum annual collection rate of waste fishing gear containing plastic for recycling, with a view to the establishment of binding quantitative Union collection targets. Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear accounts for 27% of beach litter, according to the impact assessment of 2018, and a significant proportion of the fishing gear placed on the market is not collected for treatment.
Latest News from
EU increases humanitarian aid to Gaza by €25 million07/11/2023 13:25:00
As part of the EU's continued support to people in Gaza, the Commission will provide a further €25 million in humanitarian aid. This quadruples EU humanitarian assistance to over €100 million for Gaza this year.
President von der Leyen marks the EU's commitment to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) during the event hosted at the G20 in New Delhi12/09/2023 15:25:00
President von der Leyen recently (09 September 2023) spoke at the G20 event on PGII hosted by Prime Minister Modi and President Biden.
Summer 2023 Economic Forecast: Easing growth momentum amid declining inflation and robust labour market12/09/2023 13:25:00
The European Commission yesterday presented the Summer 2023 Economic Forecast
Climate change: Deal on a more ambitious Emissions Trading System (ETS)20/12/2022 10:33:00
On Saturday night, MEPs and EU governments agreed to reform the Emissions Trading System to further reduce industrial emissions and invest more in climate friendly technologies.
EU and Ukraine sign €100 million for the rehabilitation of war-damaged schools *20/12/2022 09:25:00
Exactly three months after President von der Leyen's announcement in her 2022 State of the Union Address, the European Commission and the Government of Ukraine have signed a €100 million support package for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of schooling facilities damaged in Russia's full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine.
NextGenerationEU: European Commission endorses positive preliminary assessment of Portugal's second request for €1.8 billion disbursement under the Recovery and Resilience Facility19/12/2022 16:33:00
The European Commission recently (16 December 2022) endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Portugal's payment request for €1.8 billion of grants and loans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.
'Fit for 55': Council and Parliament reach provisional deal on EU emissions trading system and the Social Climate Fund19/12/2022 15:25:00
The Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on important legislative proposals of the ‘Fit for 55’ package that will further reduce emissions and address their social impacts.
Ukraine: EU agrees ninth package of sanctions against Russia19/12/2022 14:33:00
The Commission welcomes the Council's adoption of a ninth package of hard-hitting sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.
Council and European Parliament agree on new safety requirements for machinery products19/12/2022 13:25:00
The Council and the European Parliament negotiators have reached a provisional agreement on the regulation for machinery products. The proposed legislation transforms the 2006 machinery directive into a regulation.