Call to postpone single-use plastics directive

European Plastics Converters (EuPC) has called on European Commissioners to ‘recast’ or postpone the single-use plastics (SUP) directive, in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

In an open letter Alexandre Dangis, EuPC President said: “We would like to draw the attention to the benefits of plastic products and in particular single-use applications during the difficult times we are experiencing at this moment in history.”

Mr Dangis said the legislation did not take into account the hygienic consequences of banning or reducing single-use plastics but only reflected on littering aspects.

“Today and tomorrow we are and will be in a completely different world where hygiene and consumer health will be the number one priority for all of us so it is time to reflect on adjusting strategies for Europe and the world in particular related to the use of plastics.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus has shown us that not all materials are the same. Single-use plastics are not easily substitutable, in particular in keeping the same hygienic properties to safeguard consumers. Many independent studies repeatedly show that plastics is the material of choice for ensuring hygiene, safety as well as preservation from contamination.

“The freedom of circulation of these goods is necessary to keep hygiene, health and safety in the supply of many products, such as food contact materials, protective equipment, medical devices and medicines. We cannot afford, in any sense, to forget such basic precautions that plastic products can provide and is already providing in the field right now to assist in the fight against this crisis.

The EuPC is calling for a postponement of the deadline for the implementation of the SUP Directive for at least an additional year at national level and to lift all bans on some of the single-use plastics items.