EFTTA lobbyist Jan Kappel has delivered to the Commission an EFTTA position statement (1) on the proposed Directive “on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment“ (2), with a request for a meeting with the Commission.
The proposed Directive aims to prevent and reduce the impact that certain single-use plastic products (SUPs) have, particularly on the aquatic environment, and to promote the transition to a circular economy. However, in addition to SUPs the Directive also applies to fishing gear containing plastic and proposes the introduction of measures for the improved management of waste fishing gear containing plastic returned to shore and its financing.
EFTTA is very unhappy that recreational angling gear may be included the Directive’s scope. Without changes, the proposed extended producer responsibility will become unreasonable to EFTTA’s members as they in general will be held financially responsible for the recycling of waste fishing gear used by commercial fishers.
EFTTA proposes some important changes, including:
- fishing gear should not be dealt within a Directive aimed at single-use plastics but ought to be dealt with in a Directive of its own.
- ‘fishing gear’ may include recreational fishing gear, which would go against EFTTA’s interpretation of the proposed Directive when read in its entirety. Fishing gear meant for ‘recreational fishing (eventually limited to our segment ‘recreational angling’) should be excluded from the scope. The Directive’s definitions of fishing gear and waste fishing gear should concern solely gear meant for commercial fishing operations.
- ‘fishing gear’ could be interpreted broadly by Member States when implementing the Directive to include not only fishing tackle but everything on a vessel, boat, kayak used for fishing, or even the boat itself, and any items or products on or in the immediate vicinity of the fisher that contain plastic, including specialized fishing clothes and tools. This must be avoided as suggested above.
- the definition of producer in the Directive should be narrowed down to cover solely the manufacturers of fishing gear meant for the use of commercial fishing operations, leaving the manufacturers of recreational fishing gear outside the scope of the responsibility. This would allow for the correct allocation of producer responsibility.
EFTTA will get in contact with the Council as well shortly.
(1) The EFTTA position statement paper (5 pages): [LINK in here]
(2) Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment”; COM(2018) 340 final: click here
(3) Commission staff working document impact assessment: click here or copy and paste the following url http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/pdf/single-use_plastics_impact_assessment.pdf