EU directive for single-use plastic items

You have probably already heard about the EU directive for single-use plastic items. But what does that mean for you and your business? We help you get a little more clarity on the questions.

What is the single-use plastics directive about?

The single-use plastics directive entered into force on 3 July 2021 and aims to reduce the use of specific plastic products that have a harmful impact on the environment and wildlife. Some plastic products are completely banned under the directive, while others are subject to requirements to promote reduced and more sustainable consumption. The overall goal is to promote a circular economy and reduce the amount of plastic waste in the oceans.

Extended requirements for take away products

On behalf of the Swedish government, the Environmental Protection Agency has interpreted the EU directive to reduce the amount of single-use plastic on the market and set a goal to reduce the consumption of single-use cups and lunch boxes in Sweden by 50% by 2026 at the latest.

As of 1 January 2024, the following applies:

  • Anyone who serves food or drink in single-use items must be able to offer customers a reusable option.
  • Those who serve more than 150 meals or drinks in single-use items per day (from 2026, 75 meals or drinks per day apply) must be able to offer customers a reusable option. If you do not do this, you may be charged an environmental penalty fee of SEK 10,000. 
  • Those who offer reusable lunch boxes and cups must choose those that have the least negative impact on the environment and health.
  • The reusable products must be part of a rotation system so that they can be used again.
  • The service establishment must inform consumers about the environmental impact that the use of disposable cups and disposable food boxes causes, as well as what the benefits are through a reduced consumption of these.
  • Whoever serves in 100% plastic-free articles is not covered by the directive.
  • All information and clarifications can be found here: 
  • For actors covered or affected by the decision to provide reusable mugs and lunch boxes.

What is meant by reusable product?

Reusable products are intended to be used several times before being discarded because they are designed not to break or degrade after one use. Reusable products are most often perceived and used by consumers as a reusable product.

This is what we at ABENA can offer you

Because of the new law, the vast majority of those who serve meals and drinks in disposable items need to review their operations and possibly make some adjustments. This may apply, for example, to material selection, recycling or logistics around reusable products. We at ABENA are here for you and help you find the right solutions for your particular needs.

Together we select suitable replacements for the products that may no longer be used.

Sustainable alternatives

We at ABENA always recommend that you choose materials and products that suit your needs. A variety of factors influence the decision-making process: your food production process, the possibilities for sorting and recycling, how important a green sustainable profile is for your business, etc.

Reusable products

Our reusable and washable products are made from 100% recyclable PP (polypropylene). The products are tested and guaranteed to withstand up to 125 washes. According to EN 12875-1:2005, the products can also be washed in a dishwasher. By choosing reusable PP, you get a circular, lighter and unbreakable alternative to glass and porcelain that has lower CO2 emissions compared to disposable plastic.

Sugar cane

Bagasse is a material made from leftover fibers from sugar cane production that is 100% natural. Bagasse products are very robust, well suited for hot and cold foods and for heating in the microwave. A premium option available in several different designs.


An environmentally friendly choice as it is completely biodegradable and compostable. In addition, wood is 100% renewable and gives a natural, rustic look to your food presentation.


Paper is available in several different designs and our wide range includes everything from 100% natural paper to various coating options. Paper is a cost-effective alternative without compromising on functionality.

Palm leaf

Naturally fallen palm leaves are collected, cleaned and heat pressed into different sizes and shapes. 100% free from chemicals and other additives, as well as completely degradable and compostable. The result is a strong material with an elegant, wood-like structure.

Kaolin coating

The upper side of the cardboard is coated with an ultra-thin layer of kaolin (clay). This means no extra barrier, but only a natural layer that makes the surface a little smoother. The kaolin coating is biodegradable, compostable and of natural origin.

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