In order to minimize the negative effects of the generation and management of waste on human health and the environment, the Law 7/2022, of April 8, on Waste and Contaminated Soils for a Circular Economy. This has promoted certain measures to make more efficient use of resources, further encourage the reuse and recycling of materials and contribute to the fight against climate change and marine pollution.
TÜV SÜD, an international company that offers high-quality solutions, sustainability and safety, has reviewed the main regulatory novelties of this regulation which, for the first time in terms of waste, makes important mention of plastics.
To reduce the generation of plastic wastea ban on placing the following single-use, plastic-based products on the market is introduced: cotton swabs, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers, cups and drink containers made of expanded polystyrene including lids and plugs.
Also, from January 1, 2025, only ‘PET bottles’ (polyethylene terephthalate) containing at least 25% recycled plastic may be placed on the market; and from July 3, 2024, only single-use plastic products whose lids and caps remain attached to the container during the use phase may be introduced.
To reduce the commercialization of certain single-use plastic products, such as beverage cups and food containers, the objective is that, in 2026, a 50% weight reduction from 2022; and in 2030, the reduction is 70% by weight compared to 2022.
Some types of plastic trays, which function as containers, and plastic pod products, such as plastic rings that allow various individual containers and plastic sticks used in the food sector to be grouped together, as product supports (candy sticks, ice cream sticks and other products, all of them made of non-compostable plastic), should preferably be replaced by alternatives reusable and other materials such as compostable plastic, wood, paper or cardboard, among others.
To promote the prevention of single-use packaging, no later than January 1, 2023, food retailers whose surface is equal to or greater than 400 square meters will allocate at least 20% of their sales area to the offer of products presented without primary packaging, including sale in bulk or through reusable packaging.
Additionally, in establishments in the hotel and restaurant sector, consumers, customers or users must always be offered the possibility of consuming non-packaged water free of charge and complementary to the offer of the same establishment.
“Each one of us, as individuals of the society of which we form a part, must collaborate in achieving the objectives developed by the new Law. Reducing climate change and achieving a circular and sustainable economy is in our hands. It is estimated that waste management will become an important source of employment in the coming years and to achieve the objectives described above we must all get involved in the “R” policy: reduce, recover, recycle, repair, redesign and, in definitively, reinvent ourselves”, concludes Jesus RubioTechnical Manager of the Industrial Environment of TÜV SÜD.