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Source: European Parliament

The new Directive 2019/904 aims to bring about an ambitious reduction in the impact that plastics and plastic products have on nature. The aim of the Directive is desirable, but the definition of plastic is unclear. The issue of which materials and raw materials are regarded as single-use plastics under this Directive and which are not remains unresolved.

The Directive can be interpreted in such a way as to classify paper (even uncoated) as a single-use plastic.

As well as containing cellulose, all types of paper also contain binders and retention agents, which are usually fossil polymers or modified natural polymers. Are uncoated paper straws containing fossil or modified natural polymers that are biodegradable, for example, excluded from the scope of the Directive?

And are uncoated paper straws containing fossil or modified natural polymers that are non-biodegradable, or straws produced from wood chips, in which biodegradable thermoplastic polymers are used as a binder, excluded from the scope of the Directive? If so, applying what criteria?

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