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Packaging: Brussels launches regulation proposal on recycling and reuse. EU industry against

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Packaging: Brussels launches regulation proposal on recycling and reuse.  EU industry against

Recycling and reuse: it is on these two levels that the European Commission proposes to act with a new regulation to limit the use of packaging by promoting multipurpose packaging to replace single-use plastic packaging; bans on certain types of wasteful packaging, most of which is single-use plastic (mini disposable hotel packaging for shampoo, bulk packaging of beverage cans, single-use packaging in restaurants and cafes); mandatory rates of inclusion of recycled plastic in new plastic packaging; mandatory targets for companies to ensure parts of their products are supplied in reusable or refillable packaging.

Brussels today presented the proposal for a regulation, which has long been at the center of alarm in some countries and, in particular, in Italy – a leading country in the recycling sector – because, this is the accusation against the Commission, the reuse of materials would be preferred to recycling. Among the disputes is the EU choice to proceed with a regulation, with which the rules are made immediately applicable which, in any case, will be the subject of negotiation between the Council and the EU Parliament.

Three main objectives

Packaging and packaging waste regulations have three main objectives. First, prevent the generation of packaging waste: reduce the amount of packaging waste, limit unnecessary packaging and promote reusable and refillable packaging solutions. Secondly, promote high-quality recycling (so-called “closed loop”): make all packaging on the market recyclable in an economically viable way by 2030. Finally, indicates Brussels, reduce the need for primary natural resources and create a well-balanced market functioning for raw material secondary resources, increasing the use of recycled plastic in packaging through mandatory targets. “The headline target is to reduce packaging waste by 15% by 2040 per capita per Member State, compared to 2018,” is written in the documents published today. This would lead to an overall waste reduction of around 37% compared to a scenario with no legislation changes. This will happen “through both reuse and recycling”. The target will be achieved progressively, 5% reduction by 2030 and 10% by 2035.

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Percentage of products in reusable or refillable packaging

To drive packaging reuse or refill, which has declined dramatically over the past 20 years, companies will need to offer a certain percentage of their products to consumers in reusable or refillable packaging, such as takeaway drinks and meals or e-commerce deliveries . There will also be some standardization of packaging formats and clear labeling of returnable packaging.

The prohibitions

To tackle clearly unnecessary packaging, some forms of packaging will be banned, such as single-use packaging for food and beverages consumed within restaurants and cafes, single-use packaging for fruit and vegetables, miniature shampoo bottles and other miniature packaging in hotel.

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