Selling dishes, cutlery, pajitas, bastoncillos and containers of plastic for food will be banned in the whole of the European Union next Saturday, July 3.

In the case of Spain, the Government has ensured that the ban will also be “effective” from this date, despite the fact that the European directive that regulates it has not yet been transposed into the national legal system.

In a recent informative note from the General Directorate of Circular Economy of the General Directorate of Quality and Environmental Assessment to which Europa Press has had access, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge confirms that “the restrictions on entry into the market and marking obligations come into force as of July 3, 2021“.

The European Commission seeks the withdrawal from the market of disposable plastic products for which there are already alternatives and, for this, it approved a Directive on the matter two years ago, which gave the member states until this next Saturday.

Just a month ago, last May 31, Brussels asked the 27 to harmonize the ban on single-use plastics and urged the countries to guarantee that “the new rules are applied correctly and uniformly” as a whole.

Specifically, the Directive of June 5, 2019 on reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, establishes that from July 3, 2021, the sale of any product made with oxodegradable plastic, with micro-spheres of less than 5 millimeters, cotton buds, plastic cutlery, plates, straws, stirring sticks for drinks, the balloon stick, the expanded polystyrene containers and the glasses of the same material.

Additionally, that same day, a series of marking obligations for sanitary napkins, sanitary tampons and tampon applicators come into force in the EU as a whole; wet wipes; tobacco products with filters and drinking glasses.

Law in process

However, the deadline to enter into force is this Saturday without Spain having approved the waste and contaminated soil bill that includes this transposition.

The legislative initiative was approved by the Council of Ministers on May 18 and has just recently start its parliamentary process.

Last week, on May 24, the Congress of Deputies debated and subsequently rejected the amendment to the entire Vox to return the bill to the Government.

The future law has begun this week the stage of listening to the sectors and its presentation phase will not begin until after the summer. Ace, not be approved, “as soon”, until Christmas, but very predictably until the spring of 2022, according to what the president of the Commission for the Ecological Transition of Congress and United We Can Deputy Juan Lpez de Uralde explained to Europa Press last week.

Direct application without legal formula

In this context, the aforementioned government information note indicates that brands “must comply” with the marking specifications for single-use plastic products from July 3, when the regulation “is applicable”.

The note adds that Article 17 of the Directive urges the Twenty-seven to put into effect the legal, regulatory and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the provisions no later than that date.

However, if by then – as is the case – the directive is not adapted, it includes “the mandate” to the member states to “apply the necessary measures” to comply with these measures.

In this sense, the Ministry recognizes that the bill is in parliamentary processing and “foreseeably” at the date of transposition it is not approved, but affirms that in order to comply with the provisions of the Directive and, “taking into account the direct effect of the “Community Directives whose transposition deadline has expired, the prohibitions are” directly applicable in Spain from that date. “

However, the note does not explain the formula with which its compliance will be effective, although it insists that from next Saturday “No single-use plastic product may be placed on the Spanish market, including those made of oxodegradable plastic, and the hygiene articles mentioned must be marked in accordance with the new Community regulations.

This directive, he adds, also will be applied from Saturday to products that are in stock and has not yet been sold or purchased through electronic commerce.

In the debate in the Lower House last week, the PP deputy Csar Sánchez asked precisely about this question, without the groups that support the Government expressing any response.

However, the case law of the European Court of Justice considers that the possibility of invoking before a national court the “unconditional and sufficiently precise” provision of a Directive to which domestic law has not been adapted exists only in favor of individuals.

Therefore, it clarifies that a Directive “by itself” cannot create duties of charge of an individual. Precisely, this jurisprudence seeks to prevent one Member State from taking advantage over another by having infringed Community Law.

Remember, likewise, that it is an obligation of the EU countries to adopt all appropriate general or particular measures to ensure compliance with said obligation.

In any case, despite this legal limbo, the European Court of Justice emphasizes that national judges must take into account the content of the Directive when interpreting the rules of national law.

(function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=””;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}(document,’script’,’facebook-jssdk’)); .

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more