The European Parliament is set to vote on the packaging waste regulation, with the aim of reducing waste and overpackaging, and increasing reuse. The Commission predicts that this proposal will result in economic savings of over 47 billion euros in the EU, by prohibiting overpacking and single-use packaging for fruits, vegetables, and small shampoo bottles in hotels. However, with more than 500 amendment proposals on the table, MEPs anticipate a complicated and difficult vote.
The Government of Finland has expressed concerns about reducing packaging leading to an increase in food waste or endangering food safety. The law will take its final shape through 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, with a majority supporting the proposal for at least 20 percent of non-alcoholic beverages to be offered in reusable packaging from 2030.
Despite this support, there have been concerns raised by the food and brewing industries in Finland about increased costs and negative environmental impacts resulting from reuse goals. MEPs have expressed dissatisfaction with the Commission’s proposal and argued that it does not properly consider life cycle thinking and could lead to unsustainable practices. They also criticized the Commission’s inadequate impact assessments.
However, many members of the European Parliament’s environment committee supported the proposal to offer at least 20 percent of non-alcoholic beverages in reusable packaging by 2030 as a way to reduce packaging waste. While concerns were raised about potential costs and environmental impacts on certain industries, overall support for this measure remains strong among MEPs.