Fishing gear made of plastic, including nets, lines and buoys makes up 27% of all littered waste in oceans and on beaches, which corresponds to more than 11,000 tonnes a year. Lost fishing gear continues for years to catch fish and other marine animals to no avail. This is called ghost fishing. In addition, marine mammals and diving birds risk becoming trapped, thus drowning in fishing gear that floats around or lies on the seabed. Lost fishing gear causes ghost fishing and pollution with microplastics that considerably damage biodiversity and the marine environment.
Since the recycling potential is large, it is desirable to have these plastics collected to protect the environment and boost circular processes. Producers and importers will now become subject to financing clean-up, collection and disposal of lost fishing gear as well as to contributing to public information campaigns.
Single-use plastic products
Collection targets for end-of-life fishing gear
In general, all Member States must ensure the implementation of producer responsibility and responsibility for cleaning up litter for all persons handling fishing gear made of plastic. All Member States must attain certain environmental targets for the collection of end-of-life fishing gear. Therefore, no later than 31 December 2024, all Member States with marine areas must set out a national minimum target for the annual collection of end-of-life plastic fishing gear. The purpose is to set out binding quantitative EU targets for collection.Principles behind EU environmental targets
All types of fishing
A distinction is made between the different types of fishing gear depending on its use. Fishing gear used in connection with the following is subject to producer responsibility:
- Commercial fishing gear
- Angling and leisure fishing gear
- Marine farming
Reporting of fishing gear made of plastic put on the market and collected
In an implementation decision, the EU Commission has set out a registration format to be used by in-scope companies in all EU countries. This means that annual quantities of fishing gear put on the market and collected end-of-life fishing gear must be reported in defined categories with material-based sub-groups.
See how to register as a producer or an importer in the producer register
Read about cigarette filters and tobacco product filters subject to producer responsibility for single-use plastic products
See current fees for products subject to producer responsibility
See the statutory basis for producer responsibility for tobacco product filters (single-use plastic products)
See which types of single-use plastic products are in scope and check out the exemptions (scoping).
Read more about marking requirements for single-use plastic products
See campaign from the Ministry of Environment against cigarette filters littering (in Danish)
Find producer registers in other EU countries