Why measures against single-use plastics?
Plastic has many useful properties. But plastic waste is increasingly ending up in the oceans and seas (plastic soup). This can make fish and other marine animals ill. With the new Single-Use Plastics (SUP) guidelines, the European Union wants to reduce the plastic soup. The rules relate to the products that wash up most on European beaches. Good, affordable alternatives already exist for those.
Rules for disposable plastic cups and food packaging
Rules will be introduced for the use of disposable plastic cups and food packaging.
- Customers will have to pay for disposable plastic cups and food packaging when they take out or have food or drink delivered.
- For on-site use, there will be a complete ban on disposable plastic cups and food packaging.
Ban on single-use products and mandatory marking
Since 3 July 2021, there are a number of disposable plastic products you may no longer market. You must also print a marking on the product or on the packaging for certain products. Read more about the ban on single-use products and mandatory marking.
Deposit on small plastic bottles
Since 1 July 2021, small plastic bottles for soft drinks and water have been subject to a deposit (statiegeld). Read more about this at statiegeldnederland.nl (in Dutch).
Deposit on beverage cans
A deposit on cans for water, soft drinks, beer, and other low alcoholic drinks has been introduced on 1 April 2023. A deposit of at least €0.15 (15 cents) is charged on every can. Read more.
Responsibility for producers
Since 1 January 2023, the extended producer responsibility (EPR) applies to a number of plastic products. This means that as a producer, you contribute to the collection of the waste and the clearing up of litter. An increasing number of products will be added to the EPR scheme in the years to come.
EPR from 1 January 2023 applies to:
- Tobacco products with filters
- Single-serve food packaging
- Disposable cups
- Bags and wrappers
- Light plastic carrier bags
- Beverage packaging
- Wet wipes
EPR as of 31 December 2024:
- Fishing gear
Rules for bottles and beverage packaging
For bottles and beverage containers, the caps must remain attached to the bottle or container during use. This rule will take effect from 3 July 2024.
This does not apply to:
- bottles and beverage packaging for medical use
- bottles and beverage packaging of more than 3 litres
From 2025: bottles made from recycled material
- From 2025, 25% of the material of a PET bottle (polyethylene terephthalate) must consist of recycled material.
- From 2030, 30% of the material of all bottles must be recycled.
The exact effective date of these rules is not yet known. The European standardisation body is still working out exactly what conditions the products must meet.