Share article:
Share article:

Belgium imposes phased ban on single-use plastics

© Belga

A royal decree approved on Friday by the Council of Ministers gradually bans single-use plastics from the Belgian market.

The decree, announced by Environment Minister Zakia Khattabi, implements two European directives issued in 2015 and 2019 that had not been implemented in Belgium.

One bans the sale of plastic bags with handles, except for extremely light plastic bags, reusable ones compliant with EU standard EN 13429 – which defines the possible ways to reuse packaging – and those issued for security reasons in airports.

Businesses have been given a one-year grace period from the date of promulgation of the royal decree, mainly to get rid of their stocks. The same time frame has been given for a ban on the sale of disposable plastic cups. This ban does not cover coated cardboard cups.

A ban on marketing other single-use plastics takes immediate effect 10 days after the publication of the decree, either in late 2021 or early 2022. These plastics include cotton buds, cutlery, plates, mixing sticks, balloon holders, polystyrene food containers used to contain foods to be consumed on-site or to be taken away, and polystyrene bottles.

Finally, certain single-use plastics will need to be marked with information for the customer.

These include sanitary towels, tampons, tampon applicators, wipes, dishrags, tobacco products with filters and filters sold for use with tobacco products and cups. All these should bear clear messages informing potential users of the presence of plastics in the product and its harmful effect on the environment.

“The banning of single-use plastics is an important step in resolving the problem of plastic build-ups in the environment and in our oceans,” the minister said.

“In addition to preventing and reducing the incidence of certain single-use products, it is also essential to promote reusable goods and the transition to a circular economy with innovative, sustainable business models, goods and materials.”

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgium in Brief: Getting To The Airport
When I saw the news of plans for a tram line and cycle path to connect Brussels' outskirts to the airport, my first reaction was sheer joy.  Let ...
EU should invest €5 trillion in climate plan, says State Secretary for Economic Recovery
The European Union must invest €5 trillion in its climate plan over the next decade to "retain its credibility as a political project," according ...
Brussels café managers ask for security guards following stabbing over vaccination proof
Managers of cafes in Brussels are asking to be provided with security guards if they’re to continue enforcing rules surrounding proof of vaccination, ...
1.6 tonnes of drugs, 27 suspects: Belgian police bust major gang
The Belgian police and public prosecutor's office arrested 27 suspects and seized 1.6 tonnes of drugs, over €80,000 and a number of weapons in a ...
75% more sexual violence victims seek help in Brussels since summer
There has been a 75% increase in the number of people asking for help from the Brussels Centre for the Treatment of Sexual Violence (CPVS) since the ...
European Commission outlines possible action against the rule of law crisis in Poland
In a speech at the European Parliament plenary on Tuesday morning, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen listed three options for action against ...
PFOS contamination found in air around 3M factory
Months after unsafe levels of the chemical PFOS were discovered in the water and soil in the vicinity of a 3M factory in Antwerp, in addition to in ...
Belgium is global leader in plastic recycling and bioplastic innovations
Belgium is among the best-performing countries when it comes to innovation in plastic recycling and researching alternative plastics technologies, an ...
Lidl reopens all Belgian shops as strike actions end
Lidl has confirmed that all its shops in Belgium will reopen on Tuesday following six days of closure across various branches due to strike actions. ...
Brussels Christmas Market will once again return on 26 November
It may only be October, but the news that Brussels will get back its Christmas market this year means that seasonal celebrations with Glühwein ...
New coronavirus infections above 3,000 for first time since May
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus has skyrocketed to the highest rate since the start of May 2021. Between 9 and 15 October, ...
Brussels Airport adds 10 flight destinations this winter
Some 130 destinations will be served from Brussels Airport this winter, the company announced on Monday, just a few days before the start of the ...