Parliament adopts an opinion on the reduction, reuse and recycling of packaging waste

6. 3. 2024

Packaging in the EU generated a turnover of €355 billion in 2018. This type of waste is growing steadily, with the total volume in the EU increasing to 84 million tonnes in 2021. Each European will therefore produce almost 189 kg of packaging waste. Without intervention and new measures, this amount is expected to increase to 209 kg by 2030.

Parliament, in November 2023,  therefore adopted an opinion on the addition to the overall packaging reduction targets proposed in the forthcoming regulation, namely:

  • 5% by 2030,
  • 10% by 2035,
  • 15% by 2040

it also wants to set specific targets for the reduction of plastic packaging, namely:

  • 10% by 2030,
  • 15% by 2035,
  • 20% by 2040.

The sale of very lightweight plastic bags below 15 microns should also be banned. They should only be allowed if necessary for hygiene reasons. The  suggestion of Members of Parliament is also to restrict certain packaging formats, such as small and miniature hotel packaging and shrink-wrapping for suitcases at airports.

Members of Parliament want to prevent adverse health effects by banning the use of “everlasting chemicals” and bisphenol A in packaging that comes into contact with food.

Packaging reuse and promotion

The aim is also to clarify the requirements for the reuse or refilling of packaging. Catering services such as restaurants, cafes or hotels should provide their consumers with the option to bring their own food container.

Recycling of packaging waste

Under the rules proposed by Members of Parliament, all packaging should be recyclable. Temporary exemptions, for example for wooden or wax food packaging, are also a prerequisite.

Next steps:

Parliament is ready to start negotiations with national governments on the final form of the Waste Act, once the Council has adopted its position. The EU Council has reached agreement on the draft Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation.

The new draft Regulation on packaging and packaging waste as modified by the EU Council can be found here.

For more information on the Parliament’s meeting, see here.