Just like all member states of the European Union, the Netherlands is also turning the directive into national legislation: the Besluit kunststofproducten voor eenmalig gebruik (decree on single use plastic products).

Implementing the directive

All EU countries have the freedom to design the implementation of the directive themselves. They may thus opt to exceed the clauses in the directive. The Netherlands will not do this. It has opted (in Dutch) to implement the directive as it is.

To make the implementation of the SUP-Directive easier, the European Union has issued Guidelines that show the products that are included in the directive and the relevant criteria. It is a tool to ensure that the Directive is interpreted in the same way across Europe.

Additional measures

In a letter (in Dutch) to the House of Representatives, the Netherlands has announced additional measures, though these are not yet very concrete. The Minister would like to assess if halving the use of disposable cups and ready-made meal packaging is realistic. She also wants to make agreements on making reusable cups, cutlery and packaging to consumers available at certain places. Where this will be and how it will be arranged is not yet known.

Finally, the Minister has announced that she will also introduce an extended producer responsibility (EPR) unless a voluntary approach leads to the ‘desired effect’. Should this not be the case, an EPR will be enforced by 31 December 2024 at the latest. What these agreements will entail and what the ‘desired effect’ is, is still unclear.

Additional measures

In a letter (in Dutch) to the House of Representatives, the Netherlands has announced additional measures, though these are not yet very concrete. The Minister would like to assess if halving the use of disposable cups and ready-made meal packaging is realistic. She also wants to make agreements on making reusable cups, cutlery and packaging to consumers available at certain places. Where this will be and how it will be arranged is not yet known.

Finally, the Minister has announced that she will also introduce an extended producer responsibility (EPR) unless a voluntary approach leads to the ‘desired effect’. Should this not be the case, an EPR will be enforced by 31 December 2024 at the latest. What these agreements will entail and what the ‘desired effect’ is, is still unclear.

Items in the environment

The European SUP-Directive is based on the single use plastic items most found on European beaches. Plastic Soup Foundation observes that there is a strong similarity among the type of items found on the banks of rivers in the Netherlands. This is logical given that much plastic pollution enters the sea from rivers and then washes up on the beaches. Plastic Soup Foundation believes that the Netherlands’ additional measures should also target the prevention of the items that are most found on land and along the river banks in the Netherlands.

In the last few years, we have collected a lot of data in the Schone Rivieren (clean rivers) project – a joint project with IVN Natuureducatie, The North Sea Foundation and Plastic Soup Foundation – and World Cleanup Day that is organised in the Netherlands every year by Plastic Soup Foundation. The top 15 most found products in rivers in the Netherlands (1) and the results of the large-scale litter counting on World Cleanup Day 2019 (2) are shown in the images below.

These counts show which product groups need to be addressed to tackle plastic pollution in the Netherlands at source. By targeting the law at the most frequently found products, the major part of the plastic waste will no longer end up in the environment.

These data are the measuring stick by which we will follow the SUP-Directive in the coming years. Counting the items gives an indication whether there really is less litter per item. Are the measures taken effective or should other, more targeted, measures be taken?

Read more in our SUP file

Measures

Products

SUP timeline

Articles about Single Use Plastic

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