In line with the EU’s Directive, the Slovenian government has prohibited the sale of most single-use plastic products.
The list of banned products includes plastic cutlery, plates, straws, ear swabs and sticks, except for those used in medical devices and in the industrial sector, the government said in a statement.
The government also banned the sale of food and beverage containers and cups made of expanded polystyrene and introduced requirements for the labelling of certain disposable plastic products and their packaging to inform consumers on how to handle the resulting waste.
In 2019, the EU passed the Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) which envisaged progressively banning the use of single-use plastic products to reduce marine pollution and promote a transition to a circular economy.
The directive entered into force on 3 July 2019, and Member States had until 3 July 2021 to transpose the Directive into national law, and adopt the relevant measures for successful implementation. However, performance in implementing the directive has been uneven among Member States.
According to a July report by the Rethink Plastic alliance, France, Greece, Ireland, Sweden, Estonia, and Malta are ahead of the pack. These member states have already adopted the measures required to transpose the SUP Directive into national law, and have even given more than is due by introducing additional reduction measures.
At the other end of the scale are Bulgaria, Romania, Czechia, Slovakia and Poland, which “have barely begun the transposition process or have been delaying it,” says Rethink Plastic.
With global production of plastics already having increased more than 20 times in the past 50 years and estimated to double again by 2035 and quadruple by 2050, the issue of plastic pollution is ever more pressing. Single-use plastics – those designed to be used only once, often for a very short period – make up a significant proportion of these plastics, representing half of plastic marine pollution, while reusable, sustainable alternatives exist already today.