On 28 May 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain single-use plastic (SUP) products on the environment. The proposal is part of a wider framework of policy initiatives in the European Union aimed at reducing plastic waste and particularly focuses on reducing marine litter.
The Directive proposes measures to restrict and reduce a selection of certain SUP products such as food containers, cups, cutlery, wipes, and straws. According to the Commission, these products are amongst the most littered SUP items found on European beaches today. However, the proposal fails to assess the potential positive impacts of the already introduced measures in the revised EU waste legislation, including higher targets for separate waste collection and mechanical and organic recycling. In view of the aim for better regulation, such impacts should be assessed before additional actions are suggested in order to make sure that they tie in efficiently.