February 27, 2024

European Commission Proposes Ban on Wasteful Packaging, like fruit and veg wrapping

Proposals aim to put an end to wasteful uses of packaging such as mini shampoo bottles and excess packaging in supermarkets, with binding targets and further restrictions on single use packaging. Irish MEP Grace O’Sullivan will negotiate the measures in the European Parliament. 

(30 November 2022) The European Commission today announced a series of ambitious circular economy proposals which could have a major impact on everyday items in the retail, hospitality and transport sectors. The Regulation on Packaging and Packaging Waste will significantly strengthen the existing EU Directive with binding targets for Member States and industry.

Under the rules put forward by the Commission today, most non-alcoholic beverages will have to be served in reusable packaging or in customers’ containers by 2040. While retailers of beer, for instance, would have to sell 20% of their goods in refillable containers by 2040.

To address clearly unnecessary packaging, certain forms of packaging will be banned, for example single-use packaging for food and beverages when consumed inside restaurants and cafes, single-use packaging for fruits and vegetables, miniature shampoo bottles and other miniature packaging in hotels.

The proposals will go through the European Parliament in 2023, with Grace O’Sullivan, MEP for Ireland South the first to take on a negotiating role among the various political Groups.

Welcoming the proposals from Brussels today, O’Sullivan said: “It’s time to say goodbye to throwaway culture and embrace reuse again. Recycling is not enough, we need to reduce production of useless packaging waste. Despite massive support for climate and environmental action, on a daily basis we are forced to accept ridiculous amounts of waste in supermarkets, bars, hotels and deliveries. People don’t want millions of single use shampoo bottles, or double packaging and shrink wrap, yet we’re forced to buy it and then pay for its recycling.”

She added: “With Ireland putting in place a deposit return scheme and our own Circular Economy Bill, we have a bit of a headstart on these proposals, but they will mean a significant transformation for certain industries who have been used to disposable plastic waste without taking into account its environmental impact. For cafes and restaurants we will have to make sure supports are in place for them to make the change.”

For more info contact:

Manus Carlisle

Press Assistant, Grace O’Sullivan MEP

Tel/Whatsapp: +32 456 218 497


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