“The European Commission is committed to solving major problems, and the rest is left to the member states. Plastic waste is definitely the biggest problem.” So in May 2018, the European Commission’s first vice-president, Frans Timmerman, aimed to reduce Some plastic products (disposable plastic products) have recommendations for environmental directives on the EU Directive or the SUP (Marine) Directive.
According to the European Commission, more than 80% of the waste in the ocean is plastic waste.
Therefore, the “big problem” that should be solved is the pollution of disposable plastic products in the ocean and on the beach. According to the European Commission, more than 80% of the waste in the ocean is plastic waste. The proposed shipping directive covers the 10 most common disposable plastic products on beaches and seas in Europe, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear. In general, these items account for 70% of the total amount of waste in the ocean.
The planned measures to solve this problem have raised awareness of market restrictions on certain products, such as cotton swabs, tableware, stir bars, plates and balloon sticks. In addition, provisions are also made for design and marketing as well as for individual goals. For food containers, including printed food containers, measures should be taken to reduce consumption in the future. To this end, EU member states must take measures at the national level to reduce the consumption of food containers, for example, by setting emission reduction targets, providing reusable alternatives or developing economic incentives.
The International Federation of Printing and Related Industries (Intergraf) requires that existing directives on packaging waste remain the main legal framework in this area, regardless of the packaging used. This will ensure the stability of the law and avoid the dispersion of packaging waste regulations. In addition, the International Federation of Printing and Related Industries is the 74th signatory of the industry opinion on the packaging value chain, which prevents food packaging manufacturers from being solely responsible for waste disposal. The proposed maritime directive has the risk that the focus of the announced disposable plastics will be extended to disposable products. In fact, in the current wording of the European Commission, “disposable plastic” is defined as a “product” made entirely or partially of plastic. This includes any product whose main component is not plastic but contains a small amount of plastic. For example, laminated paper and paperboard for food packaging fall within the scope of this defined application. This may not be the original intention of the European Commission, but if the upcoming legislative process is not clarified, it may have consequences.
The International Federation of Printing and Related Industries (Intergraf) will continue to review the impact of the proposed Maritime Directive on printed products and express our members' views.
The author, Beatrice Klose, has been Secretary-General of the International Federation of Printing and Related Industries (Intergraf) since 2003. The federation is headquartered in Brussels and is the highest association in the international printing industry. It represents 22 printing associations in a total of 20 countries.