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EU: The Council Adopts New Rules on Single-use Plastics

Today, the Council adopted the Single-Use Plastics Directive.

One of the key outcomes is the introduction of an EU wide market restriction for several plastic products such as cotton bud sticks, plates, or food containers made of expanded polystyrene.

The new rules introduced by the Directive also includes:

  • Measures to reduce the consumption of plastic food containers and beverage cups e.g. by setting national reduction targets, or ensuring that single-use plastic products cannot be provided free of charge

  • Extended Producer Responsibility schemes covering the cost to clean-up litter, applied to products such as tobacco filters and fishing gear

  • Increased collection target for plastic bottles

  • Marking requirements, etc.

The adoption by the Council was the last step before the publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

The Directive should enter into force twenty days after the publication – which is expected in the coming days – and then, the Member States will have two years to transpose most of the provisions into their national law.

In the coming months, the Commission should issue guidelines to help Members States to implement the Directive as well as several implementing acts. Nonetheless, the Commission already express some concerns given the tight deadlines set by the Directive.

© 2019 Keller and Heckman LLP


About this Author

Katia Merten-Lentz, Keller Heckman Law Firm, Brussels, Paris, European food, agriculture law


Katia Merten-Lentz, partner resident in the Firm’s Brussels and Paris offices, is a leading practitioner in European food, feed, and agricultural law. Her practice also extends to Environmental Law, Biotechnologies (new breeding technologies) and Cosmetics Law.

Ms. Merten-Lentz assists clients throughout the food chain with issues ranging from marketing (food labeling, health and nutrition claims, organic labels etc.) to innovation (nanomaterials, genetically modified organisms, novel foods). She also helps clients in the food and feed area obtaining European authorization...

32 (0) 2 645 5073
Manon Ombredane food and drug lawyer Keller Heckman
Professional Assistant

Manon Ombredane provides counsel on the regulatory compliance of food and drug products within the EU.

Prior to joining Keller and Heckman, Miss Ombredane gained experience working with various organizations in the EU and developed a well-rounded background that includes familiarity with intellectual property law, food/agricultural law, competition law, product liability, framework agreements and services.

Miss Ombredane is fluent in French and English and has a working knowledge of Italian.

+32 2 645 50 68