The Federation of Employers & Manufacturers (OEB) informs its Members that from 03 July 2021, Directive 2019/904 / EU on reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the implementation of certain plastic products in all Member States, including Cyprus, will enter into force in all Member States, including Cyprus. environment.
The Directive covers only those disposable plastic products that occur most frequently on beaches in the European Union (EU), as well as fishing gear containing plastics and products from oxidizable plastics.
Products that are prohibited from being placed on the market after July 3, 2021: cotton swabs, plates, cutlery, straws, beverage stirrers, food packaging and cups made of expanded polystyrene, balloon rods and products made of oxidizable plastic.
The Directive includes, inter alia, measures to permanently reduce the consumption of certain disposable plastics, such as food packaging and cups with lids. The implementation of these measures is expected to contribute measurably to the quantitative reduction of the consumption of disposable plastic products by 2026 compared to the one that will occur in 2022.
For some categories of disposable plastic products, there are still no suitable and more viable alternatives, while their consumption is expected to increase. For these plastics, the following measures are taken:
Mandatory marking from 03 July 2021 for the products: Sanitary napkins, wet wipes, tobacco products and filters, beverage cups. There is a transitional period until July 3, 2022 during which manufacturers can temporarily mark their products with non-removable stickers. This way, products that have already been manufactured but have not yet been distributed by the manufacturer can be labeled without much effort.
Separate collection of beverage bottles up to 3 liters, with the aim of recovering a quantity equal to 77% of the bottles marketed by 2025 and 90% by 2029. Establishment of Extended Producer Systems (ADL) systems to cover waste management costs and waste collection, as well as the necessary costs of awareness-raising measures to prevent and reduce this type of waste. By 2024, ADR systems will cover all disposable food packaging, packages and wrappers, beverage packaging up to 3 liters, cups, thin carrying bags, wet wipes, balloons, tobacco products and filters and fishing gear.
Finally, the Directive will introduce standards for beverage packaging up to 3 liters, so that:
Plastic caps and lids should be attached to the packaging when using the product. PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) beverage bottles to contain at least 25% recycled material by 2025 and 30% by 2030
With the implementation of Directive 2019/904 / EU for the reduction of certain plastic products in the environment from 3/7/2021, it is expected that companies will be affected to a different degree, depending on their economic activity and the use of these products.
The Federation of Employers & Industrialists (OEB) conducted a survey, through a structured electronic questionnaire, in the period 11/5/21 to 19/5/21 to determine the degree of influence of companies.
The survey showed that the majority of companies were not aware of the immediate implementation but also of some provisions of the Directive, such as that the definition of “Disposable Plastic” includes disposable products which are manufactured in part and not only by made entirely of plastic.
Specifically, the results of the research showed the following:
The majority of companies 92% are aware of the categories of disposable plastics that will be banned from 3/7/2021 in Cyprus. The companies participating in the research are not aware of the different types of plastics that fall under the provisions of this Directive. Almost half of the 43.6% companies did not know that the Directive (2019/904 / EU) also affects disposable plastics that are produced from natural raw materials or biodegradable. 70% of the companies that participated in the survey, consider that the stocks of plastics (Cords except for medical use, Cutlery, tablespoons and dishes, chopsticks, straws except for medical use, all oxo-decomposing materials, drink mixers, balloon rods, food, beverage packaging and expanded polystyrene cups), will be exhausted in 6 months, 13% believe that it will take 12 months, while 17% will take 18 months. 70% of companies believe that the stock of the following plastics (Beverage cups, wet wipes, sanitary napkins, tampons, smoke filters, etc.) will be depleted in less than 6 months, 20% believe that it will take less than 12 months, while 10% will take less than 18 months. A percentage of companies (10%) import, produce, supply or use disposable Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and / or Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) packaging and beverage cups. Another 10% do not know which category of plastic the type they use corresponds to. Most companies (75%) were aware of the marking that had to be affixed either with a label or with a print on each piece. More than half of the companies surveyed, namely 57%, find it difficult or even very difficult to put up stickers. Finally, the investigation showed that it is not clear which products will be withdrawn immediately. Still several companies due to the increased selling price of biodegradable plastics, will have difficulty in this adjustment and it would be better to have in the early stages of the implementation of the Directive a small reduction in price or to have grants with criteria. It would also be quite helpful to inform consumers about the benefits of using alternative proposals.
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