On 13 September, the European Parliament adopted in Plenary MEP Mark Demesmaeker’s (ECR, BE) Resolution on the EU Plastic Strategy.
The resolution is not binding but they set a precedent for Parliament’s future work on these issues.

Of relevance, MEP Demesmaeker’s Report mentions EPR as follows:

  1. Relating to ‘design for recycling to design for circularity’:
    o Paragraph 12. Calls on the Commission to make resource efficiency and circularity overarching principles, including the important role that circular materials, products and systems can play, also for non-packaging plastic items; considers that this can be achieved inter alia by Extended Producer Responsibility, by developing product standards, by conducting lifecycle assessments, by broadening the eco-design legislative framework to cover all main plastic product groups, by adopting eco-labelling provisions and by implementing the Product Environmental Footprint method.
  2. Relating to the ‘prevention of plastic waste generation, in particular single-use plastics’:
    o Paragraph 28. Stresses that there are various pathways to achieving high separate collection and recycling rates and a reduction in litter of plastic waste, including extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes with modulated fees, deposit-refund schemes and increased public awareness; recognises the merits of established regimes in different Member States and the potential for exchanging best practices between Member States; underlines that the choice of a certain scheme remains within the remit of the competent authority in the Member State.
    o Paragraph 29. Welcomes the fact that Directive 94/62/EC stipulates that Member States must establish mandatory EPR schemes for all packaging by the end of 2024 and calls on the Commission to assess the possibility of extending this obligation to other plastic products in accordance with Articles 8 and 8a of Directive 2008/98/EC.

In his explanatory note, the Rapporteur also stressed the following:

  • Concerning the ‘push for recycled content’: The Rapporteur welcomes the various positive public commitments by leading industry players on recycled content, but considers it key that these public commitments are turned into concrete pledges. However, this voluntary approach alone may not be sufficient: the rapporteur therefore believes that mandatory rules for recycled content for specific products may be needed. EPR and VAT modulations could support this.
    • Concerning ‘single-use plastics’: The Rapporteur stresses that there are various pathways to achieve high collection and recycling rates and a reduction in litter, including deposit-refund schemes or EPR schemes. He underlines that the choice for a certain scheme remains within the remit of the competent authority in the Member State, taking into account local specificities and ensuring that existing well-performing and cost-efficient systems are not jeopardised. He is also eager to stress that fiscal policy remains a Member State competence, and therefore opposes the introduction of an EU-wide plastics tax as a potential own resource stream for the EU.