06 Mar, 2024

Packaging deal: Towards a sustainable future

On 4 March, Renew Europe welcomed the agreement reached between European legislators on the Regulation on Packaging and Packaging Waste, after more than one year of intensive negotiations.

The agreement marks a turning point for Renew Europe’s key priority to set up a functional circular economy in the EU.

Renew Europe is pleased that the new law will set ambitious standards on how packaging and packaging waste will be handled sustainably in the near future.

In addition to banning PFAS, or “forever chemicals” for contact-sensitive food packaging by 2026, the agreement will also aim for a packaging waste reduction target of 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035 and 15% by 2040.

Other achievements include ensuring all packaging in the European Union to be recyclable by 2030 and banning single-use plastics in food service and hotel industries (HORECA) by 2030.

For the first time in environmental legislation, Europe is setting clear targets for reducing packaging consumption, regardless of the material used,” said Renew Europe’s rapporteur Frédérique Ries MEP (MR, BE).

“We call for efforts from all industrial sectors and Member States, but we also wanted the consumer to play a role in this fight against overpackaging. We have sent a strong message in favor of a more virtuous European packaging market that respects food safety.

“It was also essential that environmental ambitions meet industrial reality with an agreement that promotes innovation, postpones for 5 years restricting certain packaging formats, for fresh fruit and vegetables, and above all provides for a certain number of exemptions for micro – businesses.”

According to the latest Eurostat report, the amount of EU packaging waste reached 84 million tonnes in 2021, and the average annual amount of waste increased to 188.7kg per person in the EU.

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