The directive, which is mandatory in all European Union Member States, prohibits, among other products made from or with plastic, cutlery, straws, cotton swabs, stirrers, balloon sticks or styrofoam for food containers.

The Portuguese government had decided to operationalise the measure last year, largely anticipating the dates of the directive, but the Covid-19 pandemic led to the postponement of bring in the directive and Portugal ended up establishing the ban based on the dates of the European Union.

Environmental organisations considered that the final version of the legislation, which was subject to public consultation, was weakened compared to previous versions, namely by failing to extend the ban to all single-use packaging, not just plastic, but any material.

On the positive side, the mandatory provision of reusable food containers in establishments with ready-to-eat service was highlighted, and support is also planned for the creation of these alternatives, as of January 2024.