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SUP Directive awaiting implementation in Poland

Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (SUP Directive) was to be transposed into Polish law by 3 July 2021. In December 2021, the government presented the new proposal of an act transposing the Directive.

The aim of the measures taken by the European Community is to reduce the steady increase in plastic waste generation and the leakage of plastic waste into the environment, including the marine environment. The first proposal for an act transposing the directive was published in April 2021 (proposal for an amendment to the Act on Businesses’ Obligations with respect to Certain Kinds of Waste and the Product Fee and certain other acts). This proposal was heavily criticized by environmental organizations and business associations during public consultations. The latest proposal  is intended to incorporate the comments submitted during the consultations and finally to reduce the amount of waste generated by single-use products, in particular through the following:

  • introducing a fee for placing on the market and providing customers with products such as beverage containers with caps and lids and food containers, including fast food containers with meals for immediate consumption;
  • banning the placing on the market single-use plastic products and products made from oxo-degradable plastic, such as cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, balloon sticks, drink stirrers, and polystyrene food and drink containers;
  • introducing an obligation to ensure that each single-use plastic product, such as wet wipes, tampons, tobacco products with filters, and containers for beverages, bear a conspicuous, clearly legible, and indelible marking on the packaging or on the product itself;
  • informing consumers of a negative impact on the environment due to inappropriate means of dealing with waste generated by single-use plastic products and the meaning of symbols on product packaging (food containers, packing and wrapping, beverage containers up to 3l),
  • monitoring of distribution of single-use plastic products placed on the market.

The proposal is still undergoing interdepartmental work, and has not been submitted to the Sejm.