On November 22nd, a momentous occasion unfolded as the Parliament adopted its stance on the proposal for the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation. With 426 votes in favor, 125 against, and 74 abstentions, MEPs approved the report, signifying Parliament’s mandate for negotiations with EU governments. The objectives include reducing packaging, restricting certain types, and banning the use of ‘forever chemicals.

In addition to the overall packaging reduction targets proposed in the regulation (5% by 2030, 10% by 2035, and 15% by 2040), MEPs are pushing for specific targets to reduce plastic packaging (10% by 2030, 15% by 2035, and 20% by 2040).

MEPs advocate for a ban on the sale of very lightweight plastic carrier bags (below 15 microns), except when required for hygiene reasons or provided as primary packaging for loose food to prevent food wastage. They also propose significant restrictions on certain single-use packaging formats, such as hotel miniature packaging for toiletry products and shrink-wrap for suitcases in airports.

To prevent adverse health effects, MEPs are calling for a ban on the use of so-called ‘forever chemicals’ (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances or PFASs) and Bisphenol A in food contact packaging.

Encouraging reuse and refill options for consumers, MEPs aim to clarify the requirements for packaging to be reused or refilled. Final distributors of beverages and take-away food in the food service sector, such as hotels, restaurants, and cafés, should offer consumers the option of bringing their own container.

The new rules mandate that all packaging should be recyclable, meeting strict criteria to be defined through secondary legislation. Certain temporary exemptions are foreseen, such as for wood and wax food packaging.

MEPs urge EU countries to ensure that 90% of materials contained in packaging (plastic, wood, ferrous metals, aluminium, glass, paper, and cardboard) are collected separately by 2029. For more details, you can read the full article here.

You can access all the amendments adopted by the European Parliament on November 22, 2023, concerning the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on packaging and packaging waste. These amendments aim to amend Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 and Directive (EU) 2019/904, while repealing Directive 94/62/EC (COM(2022)0677 – C9-0400/2022 – 2022/0396(COD)). Explore the detailed document here