02 April 2020

Tethered caps standardisation request finally accepted

The implementation of the tethered caps requirement for beverage containers under the Single Use Plastics Directive has been quite cumbersome for the European Commission.  After a first failed attempt at agreeing on the working mandate for standardisers, CEN now seems happy with the new version of the Standardisation Request presented by the European Commission for consultation at the end of March.

For the past months, ECOS has been highlighting that the lack of agreement on the Standardisation Request could create delays in the effective implementation of the SUP Directive and its requirement for caps and lids of beverage containers of up to three litres to remain attached during use. ECOS did not share the initial concerns expressed by CEN in an official letter to the European Commission, which only created an unnecessary new hurdle in the fight against plastic pollution.

Fortunately, the European Commission was quick in re-issuing the Standardisation Request, which was subsequently deemed acceptable by European standardisers. The new text includes all environmentally relevant references from the previous version, including the need for the standard to be in accordance with new EU packaging laws, and the Commission’s communications regarding the definitions of the sometimes contested words such as plastics, caps, lids and beverage containers. It also highlights that the developed standard should not adversely impact the recyclability of the container.

ECOS has started contributing to the development of this standard as part of CEN/TC 261/SC 5/ WG 25. We are looking forward to providing our environmental expertise to ensure the new standard effectively supports cleaner beaches and less plastic pollution from detached caps and lids.

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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