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EU Parliament, Council reach deal on more sustainable packaging rules

06 Mar '24
2 min read
Pic: Adobe Stock
Pic: Adobe Stock

The European Parliament and Council yesterday reached a provisional agreement on revamped rules to reduce, reuse and recycle packaging, increase safety and boost the circular economy.

The new measures aim at making packaging used in the European Union (EU) safer and more sustainable, by requiring all packaging to be recyclable, minimising the presence of harmful substances, reducing unnecessary packaging, boosting uptake of recycled content and improving collection and recycling.

The agreement sets packaging reduction targets: 5 per cent by 2030, 10 per cent by 2035 and 15 per cent by 2040. It requires EU countries to reduce, in particular, the amount of plastic packaging waste, an official release said.

Members of the European Parliament also ensured a ban on very lightweight plastic carrier bags (below 15 microns), unless required for hygiene reasons or provided as primary packaging for loose food to help prevent food wastage.

To prevent adverse health effects, the Parliament secured the introduction of a ban on the use of so called ‘forever chemicals’, i.e, per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs), in food contact packaging.

Negotiators agreed to set a specific target for reusable packaging for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (except e.g. milk, wine, aromatised wine, spirits) by 2030 (at least 10 per cent). Member states may grant a five-year derogation from these requirements under certain conditions

Final distributors of beverages and take-away food in the food service sector would be obliged to offer consumers the option of bringing their own container. They would also be required to endeavour to offer 10 per cent of products in a reusable packaging format by 2030.

Negotiators agreed that all packaging should be recyclable, fulfilling strict criteria to be defined through secondary legislation. Certain exemptions are foreseen for lightweight wood, cork, textile, rubber, ceramic, porcelain or wax.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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