From today, an EU directive is being placed on the Irish market which will ban certain single-use plastic products from being used. The ban was agreed on by EU member states in 2019, with two years to transpose the legislation into national law.
The Single-Use Plastics Directive has set strict rules on the type of products and packaging that have been predominantly polluting European beaches.
Single-use plastic products such as cutlery, straws, cotton buds and plates will be banned.
Other products will see limits on their use through design and labelling as well as clean-up obligations for those who manufacture them. From the 3rd of July, the following single-use plastic products will be banned from the Irish market:
Cutlery, straws, plates, cotton bud sticks, stirrers, chopsticks, expanded single-use polystyrene food and beverage containers, and all oxo-degradable plastic products.
Other measures will be coming into effect in the next few years which will include producers of packaging certain single-use plastics being required to cover the costs of litter clean up.
Another measure will include drink producers being required to have a minimum of 25% recycled plastic in their single-use plastic bottles.
In regards to the new legislation, Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell stated, “Our future depends on us rapidly changing the way we produce products; this will contribute to a much wider effort to address climate change,”.
This falls in line with the Irish government’s plan to halve food waste by 2030, introduce a deposit and return scheme for plastic bottles, and ensure that all Irish market packaging is reusable or recyclable.