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S&Ds raise ambition to tackle environmentally harmful packaging and packaging waste


24 Oct 2023


Global Europe
The European Parliament's environment committee has today approved key reforms to European packaging regulations, marking a critical step in addressing the climate and environmental harm posed by increasing packaging waste in Europe.
According to the latest Eurostat data, each European generates an average of more than 188 kilograms of packaging annually, contributing to more than a 20% surge in packaging waste across the EU in the past decade.
In November last year, the European Commission introduced a proposal to revamp European packaging waste rules. Faced with intensive industry lobbying to water down the proposal and the conservative European People’s Party opposition, the S&D Group still managed to successfully build a progressive coalition that improved the ambition of the proposal. They notably obtained safer, more reusable and eco-friendly packaging than under current rules, as well as better recycling options of unavoidable packaging.
Delara Burkhardt, S&D negotiator on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, said:
“Today's vote marks a crucial step toward addressing Europe's packaging waste crisis. We are dedicated to reducing the mountains of packaging waste that burden our climate and our environment. By 2040, the amount of packaging waste will decrease by 15% compared to 2018, offering a more sustainable future for generations to come.
“For the first time in the EU, we are introducing quotas for the reuse of packaging in order to drastically reduce waste from single-use packaging like cups. We also secured much better recycling of unavoidable packaging, for example in the medical field. Additionally, toxic chemicals in packaging will be banned to protect the health of consumers.
“We urge all Members of the European Parliament to live up to this ambitious report in plenary. We want to provide a clear framework for the packaging industry sector, steering away from single-use, harmful packaging.”