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Are you prepared for new EU single-use plastic labelling requirements?

Are you prepared for new EU single-use plastic labelling requirements?
by Rachel Langhill at 17:08 in Circular Economy, Emerging, Environmental, Packaging

The EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, which was passed by the EU Commission in May 2019, enacts bans on certain single-use products, recycled content targets for some plastics and measures to reduce plastic food and beverage containers. It also requires Member States to ensure that national laws mandate new labels for sanitary towels, wet wipes, tobacco filters and beverage cups, either on packaging or directly on the product.

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The Commission's Implementing Regulation 2020/2151 of 17 December 2020 provides for harmonized labelling formats for the plastic products impacted. The regulation gives certain dimensions and placements that labels must adhere to in order to be clearly visible to consumers. Labelling for sanitary towels, tampons and applicators, wet wipes and tobacco products must be placed on the sales and grouped packaging. For some single-use plastic items, labels must be placed directly on the product.

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Whilst some Member States are delayed in transposing the Single-Use Plastics Directive, the labelling system is applicable as of 3rd July 2021. Producers must apply labels to packaging from this date, with the option of using stickers for in-scope products placed on the market before 4th July 2022 as long as the stickers are not recycling-incompatible.

Also by 3rd July of this year, Member States must ban certain single-use plastics that are often littered in the EU, including cutlery, straws and stirrers, plates, expanded polystyrene food service ware, cotton bud sticks, balloon sticks and oxo-degradable packaging.

Extended producer responsibility fees for single-use plastics will come online by 2024 to cover costs of awareness raising measures, litter clean-up and data collection and reporting.

For more information on single-use plastic labelling requirements in the EU, please contact Lorax EPI's team of consultants today.

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