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Eurocommissioners Frans Timmermans (Green Deal) and Virginijus Sinkevicius (Environment) presented a new proposal on Wednesday (30 November) to curb the growing stream of packaging waste.
Editorial office / Brussels

More re-use and less packaging is the basic principle. For instance, online shops should no longer send small items in big boxes. The packaging we are left with should become more sustainable and biodegradable wherever possible. Plastic bottles of shampoo and body lotion in hotels will be banned altogether. Coffee capsules and stickers on fruit should become biodegradable and preferably be made of bioplastic.

Packaging currently accounts for 36 per cent of all waste. Of all plastic used in Europe, 40 per cent is found in packaging. If no action is taken, the amount of packaging waste will increase by 19 per cent by 2030. For plastics, the increase will even be 46%.

If member states and the European Parliament adopt the European Commission’s proposed measures, the amount of packaging waste (now 180 kg per citizen per year) will actually fall 15%. It would save over 20 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and €6.4 billion in economic damage from environmental pollution every year.

Read more about packaging waste and chemical recycling of waste plastics in the report from the Circular Recycling Summit in Moerdijk last week.

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