MRC -- The European Parliament voted on Wednesday in favour of a new law aimed at reducing packaging waste and boosting recycling across the EU, said Euoroplast.
The legislation was overseen by Belgian MEP Frederique Ries (MR/Renew) and passed with 426 votes in favour, 125 against, and 74 abstentions.
The deputies stipulated additional goals beyond the 15% waste reduction proposed by the Commission by 2040. They also introduced specific objectives to reduce plastic waste by 10% by 2030, 15% by 2035, and 20% by 2040.
In addition, MEPs proposed a ban on the sale of lightweight plastic bags (less than 15 micrometres), with exceptions made for hygiene reasons or to prevent food wastage. They also introduced measures to limit the use of single-use plastics such as miniature bottles in hotels and shrink wrap for luggage at airports.
However, the Parliament decided not to ban single servings of sauces and condiments, disposable containers for food and drink at restaurants, or plastic packaging for fruits and vegetables.
The initial proposal from the Commission requires all packaging to be recyclable by 2030. MEPs granted temporary exemptions for wax and wooden packaging, which reassured some industrial cheese producers.
The approved law will also prohibit the inclusion of chemical substances such as PFAS and bisphenol A in food-contact packaging. "The Parliament is sending a strong message for a complete revision of the European packaging and packaging waste market," said Frederique Ries in a press release.
We remind, the total volume of packaging waste in the EU increased from 66 million metric tons (MMt) in 2009 to 84 MMt in 2021, according to the parliament. Each EU citizen generated 188.7 kilograms of packaging waste in 2021, a figure that is expected to increase to 209 kilograms in 2030 without additional measures.