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EU proposes new rules to reduce wasteful packaging


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Brussels, Dec 1 (IANS) The European Commission has proposed a raft of measures aimed at reducing unnecessary and wasteful packaging. These include a 15 per cent 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, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the Commission.

It has now proposed banning certain types of single-use packaging for food and beverages in restaurants, and for fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as banning miniature packaging for toiletries in hotels.

“The way goods are packaged can and should be done a lot better,” the European Commission’s executive vice president Frans Timmermans said at a press conference.

“I think everyone has experienced it: you order something online and it comes in a massive box that’s half empty or contains double layers to make the product look larger than it is.

“Or you go to a cafe and instead of being served on regular plates, you get food in single-use containers, so you leave behind a mountain of waste. Such overpackaging is a nuisance to us and increasingly damaging to our environment,” he said.

The proposed measures include the clear labeling of reusable packaging, banning certain packaging, mandatory return systems for plastic bottles and aluminium cans, and new mandatory rates of recycled content in new plastic packaging.

“By 2040 most coffees-to-go will come in a reusable cup, or a cup we bring ourselves,” said Timmermans.

“For the first time, we are establishing targets for packaging waste reduction for member states, and mandatory reuse targets for selected packaging groups and for economic operators,” Virginijus Sinkevicius, EU Commissioner for the environment, oceans and fisheries said.



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