Another country introduces EPR for fishing gear

New laws and targets coming for producers – what’s changing and where?

Sweden recently adopted Ordinance 2021: 1001 which introduces extended producer responsibility (EPR) for fishing gear.

The new law will come into force on 1st January 2023 and is a result of the EU’s Single-Use Plastics (SUP) Directive 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.

The SUP Directive, which contains very precise definitions of what is fishing gear, obligates all EU Member States to implement EPR for fishing gear containing plastics by the end of 2024.

The EU is targeting this waste stream because, according to research, fishing gear accounts for as much as 27% of the litter found on European beaches.

The Swedish ordinance only covers fishing gear for professional use. The national collection target, which will be at least 20 percent of the weight of fishing gear released on the Swedish market during the same calendar year, will be applicable from 2027.

Moreover, to fulfil their obligations, producers of such equipment must hold a contract with a producer responsibility organisation by the end of 2024.

Alongside Austria (see article from February’s COMPASS here) and Estonia, Sweden is one of the first countries that have already transposed the EU Directive into their national framework. Other Member States are expected to follow shortly.

Outside of the EU, Iceland has already published a related law, and both Norway and the UK are planning similar policies.

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