Annex B - Differentiation between certain (related) product categories
69. The following is reproduced from section 4.5 of the EU SUPD Guidance and provides further guidance on the differentiation between different but related product categories.
70. Beverage containers, plates and packets and wrappers containing food are excluded from the products considered as single-use plastic food containers under Point (2) of Part A, point (1) of Section I of Part E, and point (1) of Part G of the SUPD Annex. In some cases, the packaging shape may raise doubts as to whether the product is a food container, or a beverage container, or even other type of packaging covered by the Directive, such as packets, wrappers, beverage cups or plates.
71. The sections below provide further guidance for the differentiation between different but related product categories.
Key elements to distinguish between beverage containers, beverage bottles and cups for beverages
72. The Directive does not draw a clear distinction between beverage containers, beverage bottles (a subcategory of beverage containers) and cups for beverages (which do not constitute beverage containers). However, the following generic characteristics relevant to this Directive can be made:
- In accordance with Part C, point (3) of Section I of Part E and point (3) of Part G of the Annex, beverage containers are 'receptacles with a capacity of up to 3 litres, including their caps and lids, used to contain beverages'. Recital 12 also indicates that composite beverage packaging is to be seen as beverage container, not as beverage bottle.
- Beverage bottles are beverage containers with a narrow neck or mouth and with a capacity of up to 3 litres, including their caps and lids, used to contain beverages, excluding composite beverage packaging, as per differentiation made in the Directive with beverage containers.
- Cups for beverages are typically round, usually bowl-shaped drinking vessels with or without a cover or a lid, sold empty or containing beverages. As also explained in Recital 12, cups for beverages are a separate category of single-use plastic products for the purposes of the Directive.
73. The key element for distinguishing between the three product categories is their shape. The table below provides illustrative examples of beverage containers, beverage bottles, and cups for beverages that indicate the shape-related elements to be considered for the classification of these product categories.
Key elements to distinguish plates from food containers
74. Point (2) of Part A, point (1) of Section I of Part E and point (1) of Part G of the Annex to the Directive exclude beverage containers, plates and packets and wrappers containing food from the product category of food containers for the purpose of the Directive.
75. Plates refer to dishes from which food is eaten or served, whereas food containers are receptacles such as boxes, with or without a cover, used to contain food.
76. The table below provides some illustrative examples of how to distinguish between a single-use plastic food container and plate.
Illustrative example to differentiate between food containers from plastic plates
Single-use plastic food container
Indicators indicating that the receptacle is a food container:
- Receptacles such as boxes sold with or without a lid
- Able to contain food
- May facilitate transport of food
- Receptacle usually sold with printed information regarding contents, ingredients and often product weight
Single-use plastic plate
Indicators indicating that the receptacle is a plate:
- Dish sold without a lid, regardless of whether it is covered e.g. by foil or film, at the point of sale
- Used to serve or eat food from, but presence of food is not required at the moment of purchase
- While being predominantly flat, typically it has a slightly bevelled or raised perimeter to stop food rolling or spilling off it
- Printed information including contents, ingredients or weight are usually not present.