The European Commission has proposed radical changes to the rules on packaging waste, because on average, each European generated nearly 180kg of packaging waste a year. The EU-wide changes will affect UK companies that trade with the EU.
The Commission are introducing the new rule because 40% of plastics and 50% of paper used in the EU are destined for packaging, so action has been taken to prevent a 19% increase in packaging waste by 2030.
Reusable packaging options are going to be available for consumers to get rid of unnecessary packaging, there will be limits for over-packaging and clear recycling labels will be provided.
The Commission have also said that this change could create new business opportunities, especially for smaller companies, because of less demand for virgin materials, which will boost Europe’s recycling capacity and make it less dependent on primary resources and external suppliers.
The proposed revision of the EU legislation on packaging and packaging waste has three main objectives:
- Prevent the generation of packaging waste
- Boost high quality (‘closed loop’) recycling
- Reduce the need for primary natural resources and create a well-functioning market for secondary raw materials.
The headline target is to reduce packaging waste by 15% by 2040 per Member State per capita, compared with 2018. This would lead to an overall waste reduction in the EU of some 37%.
To read more about the EU changes, click here.