SINGLE USED PLASTIC - NEW REGULATIONS MEAN NEW RESPONSSIBILITIES
Every day, thousands of businesses use various types of packaging to package products. And as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the turnover of packaged products is even higher. Online shops are reporting record sales increases.
The draft Act of 14 April 2023 on amending the Act on the obligations of entrepreneurs with regard to the management of selected waste and the product fees, as well as certain other acts, implements Directive 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union of 5 June 2019 concerning the reduction of the environmental impact of certain plastic products, and is currently awaiting the signature of the President of the Republic of Poland. When it is signed and published in the official gazette of the Republic of Poland – it will become a binding law.
The Act implements EU restrictions on, i.a., the use of single-use plastic packaging and the withdrawal of certain products made of plastic.
Consequently, the new Act, among other things, introduces and defines:
producers entering single-use plastic products into circulation may be liable to a special fee – called a product fee – which is in fact a kind of tax (amounting however, to maximum 0,2 PLN per a kilogram of products or 0,03 PLN per a piece of product).
annual levels of selective single-use plastic bottles collection is introduced for manufacturers marketing beverages in such packaging – that will be from 2025 77% and from 2029 - 90 %,
an obligation to keep records and report on single-use and plastic products.
administrative penalties for non-compliance with the Act depending on the gravity of the infringement, the extent and duration of the infringement taking into account additional actions by the responsible entity.
what are the additional obligations of an entity introducing packaged products?
The primary obligation of the introducer of packaged products is to be entered in the BDO register, i.e. the Database on Products and Waste and Waste Management.
This entry must be factually correct, taking into account the type and scale of your activity. For example, if you export packaged products or make intra-Community deliveries of packaged products. In this situation, you must additionally obtain an entry in Table 5 of Section VI of the BDO.
So BDO registration also covers sales made on Amazon or Allegro. Furthermore, the BDO number should also be included on invoices documenting activities accounted for under the EU OSS procedure.
Failing to register in BDO is subject to high penalties (up to 1 mln PLN).
BDO is also a tool to report the scale of operation in the field of introducing single plastic use packaging (and other packaging) on the market. Reporting has to be done annually.
A party introducing packaged products must conduct public education campaigns – to encourage the society to recycle such packaging. You can perform this obligation yourself or through a packaging recovery organisation. If you perform this task yourself, you must collectively donate at least 2% of the net value of the packaging placed on the market in the previous calendar year:
to public education campaigns or
to the account of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.
Participation in the campaigns and reaching the financing levels mentioned above must be reported annually.
You must achieve a recovery and recycling rate for packaging waste. The level of recovery and recycling of packaging waste in a calendar year is the value, expressed as a percentage, of the quotient of the weight of packaging waste recovered or recycled, respectively, in that year and the weight of packaging placed on the market in the previous calendar year.
On the other hand, the weight of recycled waste is determined on the basis of a DPR document (document confirming recycling) or a DPO document (document confirming recovery). You will receive these documents if you report to the Waste Treatment Facility. Moreover, the weight of packaging placed on the market is determined on the basis of records containing information on the weight of packaging in which the products were placed on the market in a given calendar year in the form of a report.
If a company or the packaging recovery organisation that represents it fails to perform recovery, you will have to pay a “product fee” (opłata produktowa) calculated separately if you fail to achieve the required level of:
recycling, including recycling for all packaging together,
The basis for calculating the product fee is the weight in kilograms of packaging of the type in which the company has placed products on the market.
Summarising, the Polish legislator has imposed a number of obligations on the entrepreneurs introducing products in packaging, including plastic packaging. In particular when carrying out business in Poland – you should most of all pay attention to registration and reporting obligations. The already existing regulations on packaging and the recently passed regulation on single use plastic may pose some challenges and it might be useful to revert to an expert for an advice, in order to avoid costly mistakes.