On 19 December at 6.30 am a provisional political agreement on the SUP Directive was reached. It took 12,5 hours to get there and, against the odds, both the Austrian Presidency and Parliament managed to pull off the draft deal. The agreement will still have to be confirmed by the national ambassadors, and then adopted in Plenary in the European Parliament.
You can find the press release of the Council here:


And the press release of the Parliament here:


On 20 December in a public session, the Council had the opportunity to hear a presentation by the Presidency on the directive on single-use plastics. The Austrian Presidency announced that, after very intense negotiations, an agreement had been reached between the co-legislators. They stated that it is an “ambitious” text which will provide the EU with the necessary tools to quickly put into place measures which can considerably reduce marine litter. It was explained that the agreed rules will ban the use of certain throwaway plastic products for which alternatives already exist, such as cutlery and plates. In addition, specific measures will be introduced to reduce the use of the most frequently littered plastic products, for example plastic cups and plastic containers for food which is intended for immediate consumption. The new Directive will also set up provisions concerning, in particular, the collection of waste tobacco filter products containing plastic and waste fishing gear. It also includes an obligation to increase the share of plastic bottles collected separately to be recycled.
As next steps, it was announced that the overall compromise package will be presented to Coreper early next year by the Romanian Presidency.
In addition, Commissioner Vella said that he was pleased with the outcome of the negotiations. “The agreement keeps the essence of the Commission’s proposal intact while ensuring clarity. He notes that several important stumbling blocks were overcome throughout the negotiations and the final result is good and workable”, he stated. He moreover added that the Commission welcomed the constructive approach adopted by the Council and the Parliament which had allowed them to reach a compromise on:

  • Recycled content target for PET beverage bottles
  • Collection target
  • The possibility that national restrictions would only be possible with safeguards for the environment and the internal market
  • The extension of the scope of the extended producer responsibility for fishing gear
  • Other points such as the collection of tobacco filters.