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Plastic straws and stirrers were to be banned from July 3, 2021. When will the rules come into force?

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The regulations on the ban on the placing on the market of products made of oxo-degradable, i.e. non-recyclable plastics were to apply from the beginning of July. However, the government did not manage to implement the EU directive. – It is expected that the entire legislative process of the bill introducing the directive will be completed at the government level in the second half of the year – said Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, Edward Siarka, in response to a parliamentary question.

On July 3, the deadline for EU Member States to implement the so-called Plastic Directive (SUP) of June 2019 on reducing the environmental impact of certain plastic products. It includes, among others o limiting the use of disposable items consisting of plastic, such as, for example, stirrers, sticks, plates and straws.

In early April this year a bill has been published in the Government Legislation Center in this case. The project was submitted to arrangements and public consultations. Even though several months have passed since then, the regulations have still not entered into force.


Disposable plastics – a parliamentary interpellation by Joanna Jaśkowiak

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A parliamentary ruling on this matter was addressed to Krzysztof Kurtyka, Minister of Climate and Environment, by Joanna Jaśkowiak from the Civic Platform.

“Many companies have already taken steps to avoid having disposable plastic products at all or to have as little as possible. Entrepreneurs – as you can see – have prepared for new regulations, which the Polish government has not yet prepared to prepare” – reads the deputy’s letter.

She noted that “the Ministry of Climate and Environment explains in the media that the guidelines for the directive were sent by Brussels with a delay of several months and there was not enough time to introduce national regulations”.

“But it is not true that Brussels is responsible for the delays, because for over 2 years it has already been known which products were to be discontinued on July 3, 2021. For a few more months, the European Commission may support countries that did not make it on time, but if such a delay will be extended, it will start disciplinary procedures “- said the deputy.

According to Joanna Jaśkowiak, “the problem is very important and urgent, because banned products account for 70 percent of the pollution of the oceans.”

“There, plastic gets into the organisms of animals, and from them – into ours. Besides, we consider plastic to be a one-time thing, and this one-time thing stays in the environment for several hundred years. To produce it, we need oil, energy and other resources. We cannot afford it. to make sure that it all serves only to use something only once and then throw it away. The alternative are reusable products or biodegradable products, which are more and more common in gastronomy, although more expensive. Packaging manufacturers admit that the ecological revolution will cost money. however, the more of these products on the market, the lower unit costs will be “- writes the MP.

“We must do everything possible to protect our shared environment and prevent climate change from progressing at such a dramatic pace,” he emphasizes.

The MP asked the minister, among other things, why the national law is not ready and whether the regulations banning the use of disposable plastic products will certainly come into force this year.

Ministry reply

The Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, Edward Siarka, responded to a parliamentary question from Joanna Jaśkowiak.

“In order to transpose Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the environmental impact of certain plastic products – hereinafter the ‘SUP Directive’, the Ministry of Climate and Environment has developed a draft act on an amendment to the act on the obligations of entrepreneurs with regard to the management of certain types of waste and on the product fee and certain other acts (UC73) “- reminded the deputy minister.

According to Edward Siarka, the EU directive “is a very unclear legal act that requires considerable clarification”.

“Therefore, the EC undertook, under Article 12 of the SUP Directive, in consultation with the Member States, to issue Guidelines, which were aimed at ensuring the correct and uniform application of the new provisions throughout the European Union, facilitating the correct and harmonized application of the key provisions of the Directive including, where applicable, examples of products that should be considered as single-use plastic products for the purposes of the Directive The European Commission’s guidelines for Directive 2019/904 were to be issued by 3 July 2020, but were not published until 31 May 2021, which made the development of the bill much more difficult, “he explains.

As he emphasizes, “they are a key document when interpreting the provisions of the directive itself, as well as when preparing a draft act transposing its provisions”.

“The publication of the Guidelines, however, did not dispel all doubts of the Member States regarding the interpretation of the provisions of the SUP Directive. Moreover, due to the great importance of the proposed provisions, in particular for the industry producing products covered by the directive, many comments were received as part of the inter-ministerial arrangements and public consultations. detailed analysis. This significantly extends the time of legislative work on the bill “- he explains.

It adds that the entire legislative process of the draft law transposing the SUP Directive is expected to be completed at the government level in the second half of the year.

“Currently, the accepted comments submitted as part of public consultations and inter-ministerial arrangements are being introduced to the bill. We want to take into account all possible postulates and suggestions in the dialogue with the industry,” writes the deputy minister.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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