The waste law will force to charge separately glasses, lids and plastic containers for food and drink to take away

The Government has given the green light to the future Waste and Contaminated Soils Law, which will introduce two new green taxes – one on single-use plastic packaging and another on waste in landfills and incineration – with the aim of reducing waste generation by 15% in 2030 compared to 2010.

The Draft Law on Waste and Contaminated Soils, which will now be submitted to Parliament, will increase municipal waste recycling rates by 5 percentage points every 5 years from 2020 at the same time as reduce single-use plastic food containers and cups by up to 70% by 2030.

The standard will replace the law in force since 2011 and is the “key” of the entire regulatory package on circular economy and one of the most relevant reforms included in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, has pointed out the vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera.

In this way, they will be established new taxes, one of them on non-reusable plastic packaging, at a rate of 0.45 euros per kilogram, and another to landfill and incineration, which may range between 1.5 euros and 40 euros for each metric ton.

Less single-use plastics

Single-use plastics subject to reduction include: drink glasses, including their lids and stoppers, and food containers intended for immediate consumption, whose commercialization has to be reduced by 50% between 2022 and 2026 and by 70% by 2030.

In any case, from 2023 its free distribution is prohibited, having to charge a price for each one of the plastic products that is delivered to the consumer, differentiating it on the sales ticket.

The law also incorporates measures for other plastics such as single-dose items, plastic rings and plastic holding sticks to replace them with other materials, and Straws, cotton buds, cutlery, plates will be prohibited and any product made with oxodegradable plastic and plastic microspheres of less than 5 millimeters.

The project introduces design requirements, -lids and caps must remain attached to the container- and establishes that PET bottles -polyethylene- must contain 25% recycled plastic from 2025 and all beverage bottles 30% in 2030.

Mandatory tap water in hospitality

The norm establishes the obligation that the hospitality industry offers its customers the possibility of tap water, instead of bottled, and for public administrations, the reduction of bottled water in their premises and public spaces, except in health centers, where single-use containers will be allowed.

Regarding the extended responsibility of the producer of the waste, there is the deposit, return and return system, the waste management items -funded by the producers- and the liability regulation for 2025 of products such as wipes, balloons or fishing gear.

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