The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a series of measures aimed at cutting down on unnecessary and wasteful packaging. These include a 15 percent reduction in unnecessary packaging by 2040.
Another key target is to make packaging fully recyclable by 2030, the EU executive said.
The average European generates 180 kg of packaging waste per year, according to the Commission.
He has now proposed banning certain types of single-use packaging for food and beverages in restaurants, and for fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as banning miniature packaging for toiletries in hotels.
“The way products are packaged can and should be done much better,” European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans told a news conference.
“I think everyone has experienced it: you order something online and it comes in a huge box that’s either half empty or double layered to make the product look bigger than it is.
“Or you go to a cafeteria and instead of being served on normal plates, they give you food in single-use containers, leaving behind a mountain of waste. That excess packaging is a nuisance to us and increasingly harmful to our environment,” he said. she said.
Proposed measures include clear labeling of reusable packaging, a ban on certain packaging, mandatory take-back systems for plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and new mandatory recycled content fees on new plastic packaging.
“By 2040, most coffee to go will come in a reusable cup, or a cup we bring ourselves,” Timmermans said.
“For the first time, we are setting packaging waste reduction targets for member states and mandatory reuse targets for selected packaging groups and for economic operators,” said Virginijus Sinkevicius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. . ■