After a lengthy discussion, the EU council has agreed in its “special meeting” from 17th to 21st July to a so-called EU plastic fee. The new agreement sprung from an earlier proposal by Commissioner Oettinger and is meant to mitigate the financial losses from Brexit.


The EU plastic fee now finds itself as part of the agreement on the EU financial framework 2021-2027 / Corona reconstruction fund. The fee will come into place on 1st January 2021 and will be paid by member states directly to the EU.


At present, the national contributions to the EU budget do not cover all plastics, but only non-recycled plastic packaging waste. Waste electronics and batteries are still not covered, but this represents a first step forward. A rate of 0.80 euros per kilogram will be applied when the fee goes into effect. The EU Commission has stated that this will lead to annual revenues of approximately seven billion euros.


It is believed that the new fee will help disincentivize landfilling by EU member states, and will help meet rising packaging recycling targets. The conclusions from the special meeting of the European Council can be found here.