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Planet above plastics

Brussels, 21 January 2019: The European Parliament’s ENVI Committee is likely to endorse the trialogues agreement on the Directive on the Reduction of the Impact of Certain Plastic Products on the Environment (SUP Directive) in an ENVI Committee vote tomorrow.

The directive will ban or regulate the use of certain single-use plastics to ensure the better protection of our environment. EurEau, which represents Europe’s water services providers, welcomes the inclusion of wet wipes in the directive’s remit.

“Including wet wipes in the directive is essential to protecting the environment…” said Oliver Loebel, Secretary General of EurEau. “… and to protecting our sewers. Wet wipes that contain plastics do not always biodegrade or disintegrate, blocking sewers. Manufacturers will now have to inform consumers how to dispose of them in a way that is environmentally sound through clear package labelling.”

Wet wipe producers will also have to finance awareness raising campaigns to inform consumers about the damage their products can cause to the sewer network and the cost of repairing this. Moreover, wet wipe producers will have to pay for cleaning up litter.

Wet wipes can block sewers and clog waste water pumps, resulting in hundreds of millions of Euro’s worth of damages. The cost of repairing this damage is currently paid by water users through their bill. Implementing the polluter pays principle is outlined in the EU treaties.

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