EU’s single-use plastic Directive (the SUP Directive) from 2019 includes provisions for fishing gear and components of fishing gear containing plastic. Yes, you can rightly claim that fishing gear are not single use products, but it doesn’t matter. The legislation explicitly concerns also non-single-use fishing gear.
Member States are obliged, in line with the polluter-pays principle, to introduce an extended producer responsibility scheme “to ensure separate collection of waste fishing gear and to finance environmentally sound waste management of waste fishing gear, in particular recycling.”
EFTTA encourages the trade to check if there is an extended producer responsibility scheme in place in the EU member states they sell products in or to, and what the schemes require from their company to do or pay. The schemes are not harmonised. Every EU Member State will have its own scheme. The schemes shall be operational at the end of next year at the latest. Some Member States already have a scheme in place e.g. Sweden. Sweden has opened a webpage in English about their scheme. Cutting:
“If your company produces or sells fishing gear in Sweden, you are likely covered by an extended producer responsibility and are obliged to register your company at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Producers must report other information as well. The purpose of an extended producer responsibility for fishing gear is to increase the collection, the reuse, and recycling of fishing gear as well as to reduce litter from fishing gear.”
A fishing gear ’producer’ is defined as any natural or legal person established in a Member State that professionally manufactures, fills, sells or imports, and places on the market of a Member State fishing gear containing plastic.
(the ‘producer’ definition, Article 3(11), is copied in below).
Cutting from the SUP Directive’s Article 3 ‘Definitions’:
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2019/904/oj (choose language at the top)
any natural or legal person established in a Member State that professionally manufactures, fills, sells or imports, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of distance contracts as defined in point (7) of Article 2 of Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (21), and places on the market of that Member State single-use plastic products, filled single-use plastic products or fishing gear containing plastic, other than persons carrying out fishing activities as defined in point (28) of Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (22); or
any natural or legal person established in one Member State or in a third country that professionally sells in another Member State directly to private households or to users other than private households, by means of distance contracts as defined in point (7) of Article 2 of Directive 2011/83/EU, single-use plastic products, filled single-use plastic products or fishing gear containing plastic, other than persons carrying out fishing activities as defined in point (28) of Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013;
Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/958 of 31 May 2021 laying down the format for reporting data and information on fishing gear placed on the market and waste fishing gear collected in Member States and the format for the quality check report in accordance with… here
Sweden: SUPPORT AND INFORMATION - Extended producer responsibility for fishing gear here
NGO paper: Single Use Plastics Directive Implementation Assessment Report September2022 here