July 28, 2021

Biology Reporter

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Plastic straws and cutlery will stay with us for longer

Plastic straws and cutlery will stay with us for longer

Plastic straws and ear buds. “We will have to wait for the complete ban”

Regulations in the SUP Directive require that certain classes of plastic products be withdrawn from the market. Plastic straws, cutlery, and stirrers should be removed from stores and restaurants. The ban will also cover cotton sticks and balloon sticks. Member states must implement the regulations in the Plastics Directive by 3 July 2021. This date is now passing.

– The SUP directive was created during the previous session of the European Parliament, and to be honest, it was written a bit sloppy. There were no detailed guidelines about which plastics should disappear from the market. Only a month ago we received these guidelines and only on the basis of them can we properly implement the EU regulations – Jacek Ozduba, Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment, told Interia.

He also adds, the Climate Ministry has prepared a bill that implements the provisions of the SUP directive. It is currently in the full public consultation phase. – We are adding the European Commission guidelines to this and sending them for further processing to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval by the Council of Ministers. This draft cannot be treated with a zero-to-one approach to the July 3 date due to a lack of European Commission guidance, Ozduba asserts.

– That’s an excuse. There are countries that have already imposed this ban a few months ago, says Piotr Barczak of the European Environment Agency. He cites examples from France, Portugal and Estonia, which have already pulled disposable plastic products from the market.

According to Barczak, the European Commission’s guidance, which the Climate Ministry has been waiting for, is in the details. – For example, whether or not viscose products are considered disposable plastic. It is the question of the few materials in dispute, whose market share is minimal. That’s an excuse when we say that a small percentage of the market has held us back from addressing regulations for the remaining 98 percent. Of all products – thought.

Deputy Minister Ozdoba responds to these allegations, noting that the European Commission’s guidance could also apply to other issues. To admit that it will not be necessary is complete ignorance from the point of view of the legislation. He estimates that if we assume that the guidelines were not relevant for most of the market, for the time being, for example, the revised law would have to be amended beforehand.

When asked whether the plastic products included in the directive should disappear from Polish shops and restaurants from July 3, he replied: – Member states decide when the regulations will be implemented. This is imposed on deadlines, but it is the national parliaments that make the law, so until we pass these laws we will have to wait for the complete ban. But a very large percentage of the industry has already switched to non-plastic products.

– From the point of view of Polish law, we may still have these prohibited products on the market. And from the point of view of the European Court of Justice, the Polish government has been responsible since July 3 for the fact that there are substances on the Polish market that should be banned – Peter Barczak claims.

The Ministry of Climate is not afraid of penalties for not implementing the instructions of the SUP within the specified period. – If the European Commission decides to take a decision on sanctions against Member States in a situation in which they have not fully prepared the regulations, this will be doubtful from the point of view of a rational approach to implementing the directives. I doubt that the topic of any punishment will arise – Deputy Minister Ozdoba assesses.

He also announced that provisions implementing the SUP directive will be passed this fall. – We are in a very advanced stage of the legislative process and it coincides perfectly with the moment we received the instructions – summarizes.

Dominica Petrzyk

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