How the new plastic laws will affect your event
Andy 5 August, 2021 - 4 min. read
When people think of events, the first thing that comes to mind is probably their own experiences watching their favourite artists with their friends, the sun glaring brightly in the sky, or as an organiser backstage keeping everything running smoothly. What you probably don't think about is the amount of plastic being used. In the coming years, a number of new laws regarding plastic will be introduced that will irreversibly change the festival landscape.
In this blog, you’ll read about the new legislation concerning...
- Deposits on bottles
- The ban on single-use plastics
- The markings on cups
- Separate collection
Deposits on small bottles
From 1 July 2021, a deposit will be charged for plastic bottles containing water and soft drinks. This was already compulsory for large bottles of more than 1 litre, but starting from 1 July it also applies to small bottles of less than 1 litre. The deposit amount is €0.15 for bottles up to one litre and €0.25 for larger bottles.
Ban on disposable plastic
On 3 July 2021 - two days after the start of the deposit obligation for small bottles - a ban on a large number of disposable plastic products (so-called single-use plastics or SUPs) will go into effect. This ban also applies to alternative products made out of bioplastics. We’ve listed the most important of these single-use plastics for event organisers below:
- Stirrers for drinks
- For a complete overview, see the Dutch Chamber of Commerce website.
So there is no ban on the well-known disposable cups yet, but there is already talk of a ban on handing them out free of charge - possibly also replacing them with products made from materials other than plastic. Whether this will actually be implemented and, if so, when, remains to be seen. In addition, the use of other plastic products, for which there is no alternative, must be measurably reduced on the national scale by 2026 in comparison to 2022.
What does this mean for events? As an organiser, you’ll need to replace some plastic disposable products with a reusable alternative or with something made from a different material.
Markings on cups
From 3 July 2021 producers will need add markings to disposable plastic cups. These markings must consist of clearly legible and irremovable information about the presence of plastic in the product, the negative consequences of littering and what waste the product belongs with.
The markings must be printed in the languages of the EU member states where the product is marketed, and therefore can be printed multiple languages. Embossing and other alternatives to ink are also acceptable in ensuring that these markings do not compromise the high-quality recycling process. Existing stocks of plastic cups don’t fall under the new legislation if they were already in circulation on the Dutch market before 3 July 2021.
This is not an EU measure, but rather a Dutch one. As of 1 January 2022, at least 90% of all plastic drinks bottles including caps and lids with a capacity of up to 3 litres must be collected separately. The same goes for metal packaging. These new laws are laid down in the Decree on Measures for Plastic Drinks Bottles and the Decree on Measures for Metal Drink Packaging, both in Dutch and determined in 2014. According to the decree, the party that pays the waste levy for packagings (in most cases the producer or importer) is responsible for collecting their respective waste. In this case, no exception has been made for the separation of packagings for alcohol, juice and dairy products as was the case when deposits were introduced.
What exactly does separate collection mean? The types of waste must be separated to enable specific treatment and subsequent recycling as collection via PMD or a mix of different waste types is not sufficient. Separate collection may also be arranged collectively. It is not yet clear how the producers will interpret this, so be sure to keep an eye on our blog for more information on this.