European Plastics Converters, the Brussels-based European Union-level trade association representing Europe’s plastics converting companies, has written an open letter to the European Commission.
Citing the benefits of plastic products, and in particular single-use applications, during the fight against the coronavirus, the group cited the need to hold back on implementing the new rules, saying the current issues highlight problems within the directive.
“Since the beginning, the single-use [rule] has proven to be a difficult piece of legislation to follow and implement both at commercial level and at national level by member states. ... When drafted and pushed in an extreme short period this 'political' piece of legislation the Commission did not take into account the hygienic consequences of banning or reducing single-use plastics. It only reflected on littering aspects.”
The letter goes on to point to the value of plastics in ensuring hygiene, safety and in preventing contamination.
“We cannot afford, in any sense, to forget such basic precautions that plastic products can provide and is already providing in the field right now to assist in the fight against this crisis,” it warns.
EuPC wants a postponement of the deadline for the implementation of the SUP Directive of at least another year at the national level.
It is also requesting that all bans be lifted on some single-use plastics items, to give the member states more time to focus on more urgent measures in the fight against COVID-19. This would allow, among others, the production and distribution of these SUP products in emergency situations.
The association affirms that the industry will uphold its commitments towards achieving more circularity in plastics and continue to work to boost the EU market for recycled plastics to 10 million metric tons by 2025.