Tackling the Plastics Pollution Crisis Through the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive: Context, Scope and Implementation Challenges

(2020) 25(6) Env. Liability 235, Forthcoming

Posted: 28 May 2020

See all articles by Noreen O'Meara

Noreen O'Meara

School of Law, University of Surrey

Date Written: April 03, 2020

Abstract

Awareness of the damage caused by plastics in the environment has captured the social and political zeitgeist. This article takes a contextual and critical examination of the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) in tackling the crisis of plastics waste pollution. The SUPD adopts a holistic approach to this problem, aiming to stimulate changes throughout the plastics value-chain, building pressure on producers to innovate and shift towards a Circular Economy in plastics. Despite some under-ambition in target-setting, the SUPD will impact governments, business and individuals in transitioning from a throwaway culture, to one which takes a more sustainable approach to plastics - where considerations for end-of-life environmental impacts are embedded at every stage of value-chains. Implementation of the SUPD faces challenges in EU Member States and in a post-Brexit UK, where asymmetric approaches are likely. The SUPD's true potential will only be realized if used as a platform for future, more ambitious measures, with reinvestment to maximize the universality and consistency of recycling infrastructure, and a commitment to embedding circularity and innovation.

Keywords: Environmental Law, EU Law, Single-Use Plastics Directive, Supd, Plastics Pollution, Waste, Circular Economy

Suggested Citation

O'Meara, Noreen, Tackling the Plastics Pollution Crisis Through the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive: Context, Scope and Implementation Challenges (April 03, 2020). (2020) 25(6) Env. Liability 235, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3589012

Noreen O'Meara (Contact Author)

School of Law, University of Surrey ( email )

School of Law
University of Surrey
Guildford, GU2 7XH
United Kingdom

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