EU governments try to undermine single-use plastics law – Rethink Plastic reaction

Giant “EU: Stopp Plastik” banner dropped off Graz castle on Monday.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brussels, 31/10/2018


Reacting to the Council of the EU’s position on the proposed single-use plastics Directive, [1] Sarah Baulch, Senior Ocean campaigner at the Environmental Investigation Agency, on behalf of the Rethink Plastic alliance, said:


“With today’s agreement, EU governments are attempting to undermine an ambitious and popular proposed law to slash plastic pollution.

The Council not only failed to back some key measures to cut single-use plastics, but also introduced a significant loophole that could give producers a free pass, instead of making them pay for the devastating environmental costs of their products.

Citizens across the EU will be counting on their governments to reverse this position and back a final law that ensures producers pay for their pollution during the final negotiations in the coming weeks.”

Today’s proposal would allow the use of voluntary agreements instead of binding Extended Producer Responsibility schemes, meaning that producers could be exempt from paying the costs of plastic pollution.


Free-to-use photos available here



[1] Council of the EU press release

Final agreement on single-use plastics Directive: what’s happening and when?

  • Tuesday 6th November: first negotiations between the European Parliament (represented by the rapporteur Frédérique Ries MEP, the Council (represented by the Austrian Presidency) and the European Commission
  • November/December: negotiations continue until final agreement reached
  • December 20th: (likely) sign off by national Ministers at Environment Council
  • December – January: European Parliament signs off final agreement



Press contact: Sarah Baulch, Senior Ocean Campaigner at the Environmental Investigation Agency on behalf of Rethink Plastic [email protected] / +44 207 354 7960

Rethink Plastic