The European Parliament will soon vote on the packaging waste regulation, with the goal of reducing waste and overpackaging, and increasing reuse. The Commission predicts that this proposal, which prohibits overpacking and single-use packaging for fruits, vegetables, and small shampoo bottles in hotels, could lead to economic savings of over 47 billion euros in the EU. However, with more than 500 amendment proposals on the table, MEPs foresee a complicated and difficult vote.
The Government of Finland is also concerned about the impact of reducing packaging on food waste or food safety. The law will take its final shape in negotiations between the EU Commission, the Parliament, and the Council of member states. In October, the environment committee of the European Parliament voted on packaging waste and supported a proposal for at least 20 percent of non-alcoholic beverages to be offered in reusable packaging from 2030.
However, concerns have been raised by MEPs about potential costs and negative environmental impacts resulting from this reuse goal on the food and brewing industries. Additionally, MEPs expressed dissatisfaction with the Commission’s proposal regarding life cycle thinking and sustainability practices. The majority of members of the European Parliament’s environment committee supported this proposal to offer at least 20 percent of non-alcoholic beverages in reusable packaging by 2030 to reduce packaging waste. However, further discussion is needed to address concerns raised by stakeholders in order to reach a compromise that benefits everyone involved.