The European Parliament is set to vote on a regulation aimed at reducing waste and excessive packaging, and increasing reuse. This proposal, which bans over-packaging and single-use packaging for fruit, vegetables and small bottles of shampoo in hotels, has the potential to save €47 billion in the EU. However, with more than 500 proposed amendments on the table, MPs anticipate a complicated and difficult vote.
Finland’s government is concerned about the reduction of packaging leading to an increase in food waste or endangering food safety. The law will take its final form in negotiations between the EU Commission, the Parliament and the Council of Member States. The European Parliament’s environment committee voted on packaging waste in October, with a majority backing a proposal to offer at least 20 percent of soft drinks in reusable packaging from 2030.
However, concerns have been raised by members of Finland’s food and brewing industries about increased costs and negative environmental impacts resulting from reuse targets. MEPs expressed dissatisfaction with the Commission’s proposal, arguing that it does not take into account life-cycle thinking and could lead to unsustainable practices. Most members of the European Parliament’s environment committee have backed this proposal to reduce packaging waste but criticized the Commission’s inadequate impact assessments.