SINGLE-USE plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds sticks will be banned throughout the whole of the European Union from Saturday, July 3.

The European Commission seeks the withdrawal from the market of disposable plastic products, for which alternatives already exist, and marks a major step in the fight against single-use plastic waste to protect the environment and clean up oceans.

The directive, approved two years ago, gave the member states until this coming Saturday to harmonize the ban on single-use plastics and ensure that the new rules are applied correctly and uniformly in the bloc.

In the case of Spain, the Government has ensured that the ban will also be ‘effective’ from this date, despite the fact that the European directive that regulates it has not yet been transposed into the national legal system.

In fact, the legislative initiative, approved by the Council of Ministers on May 18, has only recently begun its parliamentary procedure.

Thus, according to the president of the Commission for Ecological Transition of the Congress and deputy of Unidas Podemos Juan Lopez de Uralde, it will not be approved until Christmas ‘at the very earliest’, with a more likely date being spring of 2022.

However, despite the fact that Spain hasn’t yet approved the draft law on waste and contaminated soils which includes banning single-use plastic items, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge confirms that ‘restrictions on market entry and marking obligations will enter into vigor as of July 3, 2021.’


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