8 keys to understanding EU Directive 2019/904 on Single-Use Plastic

November, 27 2023

1. What is the European SUP “Single-Use Plastic” Directive?

EU Directive 2019/904 – also known as the SUP Directive – is a piece of legislation adopted by the European Union to reduce the environmental impact of single-use plastics. It aims to limit plastic pollution, particularly from plastic products that are used only once before being thrown away. This Directive is part of a wider approach whose goal is to promote circular economy, as well as to reduce plastic waste in oceans and the environment in general.

Here are some of the main points addressed by EU Directive 2019/904 – SUP:

Ban on a number of plastic products. The Directive bans single-use cups, plates, cutlery, straws and balloon sticks, as well as some oxo-degradable plastic products.

Reduction of the consumption of plastic food and drink containers.The Directive incites Member States to reduce their consumption of single-use plastic food and beverage containers, in particular by promoting the availability of bulk products.

Extended producer responsibility. Member States are encouraged to set up extended responsibility systems regarding manufacturers, which means that both manufacturers and distributors of single-use plastic products may be held responsible for managing the waste generated by their products.

Labelling and awareness-raising. The Directive sets out specific labelling requirements for a number of single-use plastic products, with an aim to inform consumers of their environmental impact and encourage them to make more sustainable choices. It also recommends that the public be made aware of the problems linked to plastic pollution.

It is important to note that the specific details of the implementation of the Directive may vary from one EU country to another, as Member States need to adapt these measures to their national legislation.

In short, EU Directive 2019/904 on single-use plastics aims to reduce plastic consumption and pollution by banning a number of single-use plastic products, inciting consumers to reduce their use and recycle them, and holding manufacturers responsible.

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2. Impact of EU Directive 2019/904 on single-use plastics in France and Europe

EU Directive 2019/904 on single-use plastics has had an impact on the French vending market. The impact has mainly become noticeable through the changes that have occurred in the types of products and packaging used by vending companies:

Change in the products offered. smart break has chosen to offer products that guarantee a sustainable alternative, such as paper cups, wooden stirrers, and various utensils used in out-of-home catering for beverages and food.

Transition to sustainable breakhas chosen to use more sustainable and environment-friendly packaging for its products on offer. Indeed, the products come from sustainably-managed forests, while the paper is cared for through already-existing recycling networks, two points that encourage the development of sustainable packaging in France.

Innovation in packaging solutions. smart break offers a range of plastic-free Folio® paper cups. We have placed environment-friendly and sustainable innovation for the benefit of our environment at the heart of our strategy.

Commercial opportunities.The vending market has managed to adapt quickly not only to this new legislation – which responds to customer requirements – but also to the current trend towards circular and more sustainable economy in Europe.

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