The European Parliament is set to vote on the packaging waste regulation, with the goal of reducing waste and overpackaging, and increasing reuse. The Commission predicts that this proposal, which prohibits overpacking and single-use packaging for fruits, vegetables, and small shampoo bottles in hotels, will result in economic savings of over 47 billion euros in the EU. However, with more than 500 amendment proposals on the table, MEPs foresee a complicated and difficult vote.
The Government of Finland is concerned about reducing packaging leading to an increase in food waste or endangering food safety. The law will take its final shape in negotiations between the EU Commission, the Parliament, and the Council of member states. The environment committee of the European Parliament voted on packaging waste in October, with the majority supporting the proposal for at least 20 percent of non-alcoholic beverages to be offered in reusable packaging from 2030.
Despite this support, concerns have been raised about the potential costs and environmental impact of this proposal on the food and brewing industries. MEPs have expressed dissatisfaction with the Commission’s proposal, arguing that it does not properly consider life cycle thinking and could lead to unsustainable practices. The food and brewing industries in Finland have raised similar concerns about increased costs and negative environmental impacts resulting from reuse goals.
In response to these concerns, MEPs have called for more comprehensive impact assessments to be conducted before any decisions are made on implementing this proposal. They argue that these assessments should take into account not only economic factors but also social and environmental impacts as well. This would help ensure that any measures taken are sustainable and do not harm public health or create new problems.