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Monday, June 14, 2021European Commission

Marking of products containing plastics: details from the Commission

Marquage des produits contenant du plastique : les précisions de la Commission

On 7 June 2021, the European Commission (finally) published its “Guidelines on single-use plastic products” in accordance with Directive 2019/904. This marking is mandatory from 3 July 2021. In particular, they specify which products are involved in the mandatory marking and confirm that it also applies to sheet masks (in addition to wipes). This marking is mandatory from 3 July 2021.

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As a reminder, Directive 2019/904 provides for the reduction of the environmental impact of certain plastic products. In the wake of this, Implementing Regulation 2020/2151 of 17 December 2020 (and its Corrigendum published on 5 March 2021) set out the harmonised specifications for the marking of the products involved, which will be compulsory from 3 July 2021.
It remained to be seen which products were in fact involved by the simple mention of “wet wipes”, which the Commission clarified in these “guidelines”.

Which plastics?

The definition of “plastic” in this Directive includes materials “consisting of a polymer […] with the exception of natural polymers that have not been chemically modified.”
Excluded are “polymers that result of a polymerisation process that has taken place in nature, independently of the extraction process” and “whose chemical structure remains unchanged.” This means that viscose, lyocell and cellulose products are excluded, in addition to cotton.

Which use?

The texts only involve products intended for a single use, i.e. which are “not conceived, designed or placed on the market to accomplish, within its life span, multiple trips or rotations,” by being either “returned to a producer for refill” or “reused for the same purpose for …

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