Calls for single-use plastics directive postponement due to Covid-19 crisis

Single-use plastics are vital for safety and hygiene in current pandemic

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European Plastics Converters (EuPC) has called for a postponement of the single-use plastics (SUP) directive, given the current Covid-19 crisis in Europe.

In an open letter sent to the European Commission, EuPC says single-use plastics are not easily substitutable and offer unique advantages when it comes to ensuring hygiene, safety as well as preservation from contamination to protect consumers.

The EuPC wants the directive postponed for at least a year at a national level, as this “will give all EU Member States time to focus on more urgent measures in the fight against Covid-19 by also distributing SUP in emergency situations.”

In the letter, they state that the SUP Directive has, since the beginning, been a ‘difficult piece of legislation’ to follow and implement both at a commercial and national level by the Member States.

It says: “The EU Commission did not take into account when drafting and pushing in an extremely short period this ‘political’ piece of legislation, the hygienic consequences of banning or reducing SUPs. It only reflected on littering aspects.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus has shown us that not all materials are the same. Single-use plastics are not easily substitutable, in particular in keeping the same hygienic properties to safeguard.”

The EuPC letter also adds that industry will continue to work on the circularity aspects with all value chains and maintain the objectives to reach 10 million tonnes of recycled materials consumption between 2025-2030.

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