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S&Ds drive European Parliament towards phasing out single-use packaging


21 Nov 2023


Global Europe

The European Parliament is set to adopt a landmark regulation to reduce packaging and packaging waste in the European Union, marking a critical step in addressing the climate and environmental harm posed by increasing packaging waste in Europe*.

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation will slash packaging waste by 15% by 2040. Despite facing significant opposition from the right-leaning faction of the European Parliament and intense lobbying efforts, the S&D Group has successfully garnered a majority to champion the cause. 

The Group has successfully promoted the use of more reusable packaging to reduce waste generated by single-use items in the first place and has expanded recycling options for unavoidable packaging. They have also obtained safer packages that no longer contain toxic chemicals, which are dangerous to people’s health.

Reducing packaging waste is a key law in the Green Deal, which the S&D Group put at the heart of the Commission programme at the beginning of this legislature and is now delivering on. We are protecting people and the planet.

Delara Burkhardt, S&D negotiator on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, said:

“The adoption of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation is a monumental stride towards a more sustainable future for the European Union. By committing to a 15% reduction in packaging waste by 2040, we are taking decisive action to address the pressing climate and environmental challenges posed by excessive packaging waste.

“Despite facing opposition, the S&D Group persevered to secure a majority in support of this crucial regulation. Our focus on promoting reusable packaging and expanding recycling options reflects our commitment to minimising the environmental impact of single-use items and fostering a circular economy.

“Safer packaging that eliminates toxic chemicals is another key outcome of our negotiations. We prioritise the health and well-being of our citizens by ensuring that the products they use daily do not pose risks to their safety. This is a victory for both environmental sustainability and public health.”

*According to Eurostat, each European uses on average around 188kg of packaging annually, contributing to more than a 20% surge in packaging waste across the EU in the past decade.