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Ban on plastic straws, plates, and other single-use plastics

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO | Rijkswaterstaat

Producers and importers may not market certain products made of single-use plastic. These include cutlery, plates, and straws. Are you an entrepreneur in the hospitality industry? New rules will be introduced for disposable plastic cups and food packaging. Read here which rules apply to disposable plastic.

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.

Healthcare institutions and closed mental institutions are still allowed to use disposable plastic cups and food packaging due to safety and hygiene regulations.

The rules will come into effect in stages:

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Disposable plastic rules for producers

Since 2021 you are no longer allowed to market specific disposable plastic products. In the coming years, more rules regarding disposable plastic will come into effect. You can read which rules apply to producers in the infographic and on this page.

Visual representation of what products are banned, need to be labelled with a marking, or fall under the EPR, the Extended Producer Responsibility. All information is also listed in this article.

Ban on single-use products

Since 3 July 2021, you are no longer allowed to market products made of disposable plastic in EU member states. This applies to products made entirely or partially of plastic.

  • plates
  • cutlery
  • stirrers
  • straws – except for medical use
  • cotton tips – except for medical use
  • balloon rods – except for professional or industrial use
  • food packaging, cups, and beverage containers made of polystyrene foam
  • all products made of oxo-degradable synthetics (plastic that breaks down in contact with sunlight, heat, or air)

Are you not sure whether your product falls under the ban? Check the Single-Use Plastics Decision Tree (in Dutch) offered by the Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging (Kennisinstituut Duurzaam Verpakken, KIDV).

Marking with information on plastic

Since 3 July 2021, you have to print a marking on the item or on the packaging of certain products. The marking states:

  • in which wastebin the product belongs;
  • that it contains plastic;
  • the environmental consequences of littering.

You must print a marking on this product:

  • disposable cups.

For the following products, you must print a marking on the packaging:

  • wet wipes;
  • tampons and tampon applicators;
  • sanitary towels;
  • tobacco products with filters and loose filters for tobacco products.

Use the standard markings. You can find the standard markings in various languages on the website of the European Commission.

Producer responsibility

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) will apply to a number of products. This means that you will have to contribute to the collection of waste and the clearing up of litter if you are a producer of such products. The EPR will enter into force in phases, starting 5 January 2023. The precise terms of this scheme are still under discussion.

EPR as of 5 January 2023:

  • Tobacco products with filters
  • Single-serve food packaging
  • Disposable cups
  • Bags and wrappers
  • Light plastic carrier bags
  • Beverage containers

EPR as of 31 December 2024:

  • Balloons
  • Fishing gear
  • Wet wipes

Rules for bottles and beverage containers

For beverage containers, the caps must remain attached to the container during use. This rule will come into force on 3 July 2024.

This does not apply to:

  • bottles and beverage containers for medical use;
  • bottles and beverage containers with a capacity of more than 3 litres.

From 2025: bottles made of recycled material

  • From 2025, 25% of the material of a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle must consist of recycled material.
  • From 2030, 30% of the material of all bottles must be recycled material.

The exact date for these rules to come into force is not yet known. The European Committee for Standardization is still working out exactly what requirements the products will have to comply with.

Frequently asked questions

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Rijkswaterstaat
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