The European Parliament is set to vote on the packaging waste regulation, which aims to reduce waste and overpackaging while 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 save the EU more than 47 billion euros. However, with more than 500 amendment proposals on the table, MEPs anticipate a complicated and difficult vote.
The Government of Finland is concerned that reducing packaging could lead to an increase in food waste or endanger food safety. The law will be finalized through negotiations between the EU Commission, the Parliament, and the Council of member states. In October, the environment committee of the European Parliament voted in favor of at least 20 percent of non-alcoholic beverages being offered in reusable packaging by 2030.
However, concerns have been raised about increased costs and negative environmental impacts resulting from reuse goals by the food and brewing industries in Finland. MEPs have expressed dissatisfaction with the Commission’s proposal and argued that it does not adequately consider life cycle thinking or sustainability practices.
Despite this opposition from some members of parliament and industry groups, many MEPs support the proposed regulation as a way to reduce packaging waste and promote more sustainable practices across Europe. The impact assessments conducted by the Commission have been criticized for being insufficiently thorough, but overall this proposal represents a step forward towards a more sustainable future for our planet.