The amount of disposable plastic in seas is increasing enormously every year. Plastic waste is a major environmental problem because plastic contains toxic substances and will not break down in nature.
Many animals such as sea turtles, seals, fish and crustaceans accidentally eat those plastic residues and can become ill. The European Union therefore wants to reduce the use of disposable plastic and optimize the collection and recycling process of plastic. The European Single-Use Plastic (SUP) legislation will therefore take effect from July 3rd 2021.
Within ZNP packaging, we have been looking around us from the very beginning and follow trends and developments closely. That is why we have been offering sustainable and biodegradable packaging solutions for many years. We have various sustainable alternatives to disposable plastic items available on our website.
There will be a ban on a lot of disposable plastic products like plastic plates, cutlery, stirrers, drinking cups, meal containers and straws. There are plenty of alternatives that can be used to replace these plastic materials. These alternatives are biodegradable and made from natural products. In this way we all contribute to the preservation of our beautiful marine animals and their living environment!
Disposable items made of plastic may no longer be distributed and used
for consumption. Both the producer, importer and buyer may no langer
trade single-use plastic form 3 July 2021. When products were made and
placed on the market before 3 Juli 2021, they may still be sold. This gives
the supplier time to use and sell already produced stock of disposable
The ban applies to all single-use plastic items. There is an exception for
plastic straws and plastic cotton swabs that serve as medical devices. Plastic
disposables that may no longer be traded are: knives, forks, spoons and any
other form of cutlery such as chopsticks and icecream scoops, plates, straws,
stirrers, cotton buds and foam packaging which include meal trays and
Ban vs. discouragement
In addition to the SUP legislation that comes into effect on 3 July 2021, the European
Union is encouraging a discouragement of the use of plastic-containing food and drink
packaging. From 2023, there will be a ban on the free provision of these articles.
There must be a reduction in the consumption of plastic drinking cups and food
packaging for take-away and any other possibilities for single use. There is an incentive
to offer alternatives for repeated use, or by charging the consumer for these
Mandatory marking on drinking cups
On all drinking cups, which are made of plastic or contains partially
plastic, by means of a PE/PLA coating, for single use, a mandatory
marking must be printed visibly on the cup. The harmonized marking
specifications for drinking cups has been published in the Official
Journal of the European Union. Drinking cups that are partly made of
plastic must be provided with this marking.
Within ZNP Packaging we have already produced several cups with the
marking specifications. When applying for disposable drinking cups, we
will therefore carefully review these specifications with you and guide
you when necessary. Drinking cups placed on the market before 4 July
2022 may also place the marking by means of a sticker.
For the time being the mandatory marking only applies to single-use
drinking cups that consist (partially) of plastic.