Producer responsibility evolves globally

Despite the strangest of times we now find ourselves in, waste legislation continues to evolve and change across the globe. Roxana Filetoth, Valpak’s International Compliance Lead, brings you some highlights of recent legislative updates.

Despite the strangest times we now find ourselves in extended producer responsibility is expanding. We constantly monitor these changes and now have collected the most interesting news of the past quarter.

Italy introduces tax on single-use plastic

At the end of 2019, the Italian Government had accepted the proposal to introduce a tax on single-use plastic materials. The changes are scheduled to be implemented mid-2020, as the introduction of the legislation has now been pushed back to 1 January 2021 as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The tax has been set at €0.45 per kilogram for each single-use plastic material with the exemption of pharmaceutical and medical packaging, materials with recycled content or biodegradable plastics.

Germany ban certain disposable plastic products

In Germany, in line with the EU’s single use plastic ban, the Federal Government has submitted The Disposable Plastic Prohibition Ordinance to transpose the EU regulation into the Germany law. It will ban certain disposable products such as cotton wool, plastic cutlery and straws.

France introduces law that phases out destruction of materials

The French Government has introduced the Anti Waste and Circular Economy Bill and signed it into law on 10 February 2020. The law will ban companies in France from destroying clothes, cosmetics, hygiene products, electrical items and other unsold or returned items. In addition, it will also phase out the use of paper receipts and single-use plastics and urge pharmacies to sell certain medications in single doses.

Sweden to include importers as “producers”

The Swedish Government has adopted two new producer responsibility ordinances , which will be coming into force from the 1st January 2021. The definition of producers has been expanded to anyone who imports packaged products into Sweden, manufactures packaging, imports any packaging into the country, or uses packaging to protect or present their items. All producers will need to be members of a scheme registered with the Environmental Protection Agency or become a scheme themselves.

Singapore establishes extend producer responsibility

The Resource and Sustainability Act in Singapore has been amended to include waste electricals and packaging waste. It also establishes a framework for extended producer responsibility. The packaging waste amendments are set to come into force in July 2020 and will require producers to declare the imported and used packaging to the National Environment Agency. Furthermore, a packaging report, which is called a 3R Plan will also be required.

The changes concerning WEEE producers have come into force on 1st January 2020. These include a list of regulated products, such as computers, refrigerators and TVs. Producers placing such products on the Singaporean market and those that meet the relevant thresholds need to join a scheme and maintain a record of products placed on the market. If they fail to do so they may be liable for a fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment of up to 3 months.

USA and nationwide extended producer responsibility

Finally, in the USA politicians continue to debate the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act. The Act is similar to legislation previously proposed in the autumn of 2019. It will introduce nationwide extended producer responsibility for all packaging materials and a bottle bill.

Ever evolving

Legislation continues to change an evolve across the globe. If you think you may be affected, please get in touch by email at [email protected] or by telephone on 01789 208725.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this weblog represent those of the individual authors and not those of Valpak Limited or any other organisation.