Parliament approves revised EU packaging rules

Parliament approves revised EU packaging rules

Sustainability

The European Parliament endorsed updated EU-wide regulations to address the mounting challenge of packaging waste on Wednesday. The vote, with 426 in favour, 125 against, and 74 abstentions, solidifies Parliament's negotiating position with EU governments.

MEPs set specific reduction targets for plastic packaging (10% by 2030, 15% by 2035, and 20% by 2040) alongside overall reduction goals (5% by 2030, 10% by 2035, and 15% by 2040). They propose banning very lightweight plastic carrier bags (below 15 microns) and restricting certain single-use formats, including miniature hotel toiletry packaging and airport suitcase shrink-wrap.

To protect public health, MEPs call for a ban on "forever chemicals" (PFASs) and Bisphenol A in food contact packaging.

MEPs aim to clarify requirements for packaging reuse or refilling, emphasising the consumer's option to use their containers for beverages and take-away food.

EU flag © bobbsled

The regulations mandate all packaging to be recyclable, with criteria to be defined later. Temporary exemptions are considered, including for wood and wax food packaging. MEPs urge EU states to ensure 90% of packaging materials are separately collected for recycling by 2029.

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