Unprecedented heavy lobby against European Commission proposals

Amsterdam, 15 September 2018 – With a knife in the back, the European plastic and packaging industry is showing its true colours. The European Commission proposed a new Directive last May which revolves around dealing with single-use plastic by banning certain plastic products like drinking straws and disposable cutlery, and making producers responsible for the waste phase of their products.

Last month, the plastic and packaging industry responded to the proposal with a statement signed by 68 companies in the industry. The Afvalfonds signed for the Netherlands and Fost Plus signed for Belgium.

The plastic and packaging industry’s statement in particular objects to article 8 which says that producers should be made responsible for clearing up single-use plastic. It argues that industry is not responsible, but the polluting citizens themselves. There is limited awareness and waste collection is poorly organised. The lobby’s object is clear: to continue to produce unlimited amounts of plastic and to keep the production costs to a minimum.

An alliance of environmental organisations, including the Plastic Soup Foundation, has expressed its concern about the plastic and packaging industry’s position and has itself produced a statement which argues the case for each point raised by the industry. The plastic and packaging industry should not attack the proposed Directive but should embrace it, recognise its own responsibility and not continue shoving the responsibility on consumers.