Today, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted on its report on the Packaging and Packaging Waste regulation. Policy makers across institutions have complained about an endless influx of meeting requests, untransparent studies and increasingly aggressive lobbying strategies. These attempts to undermine key waste prevention measures were not accompanied by credible alternatives to tackle the uncontrolled growth of packaging waste.
The latest Eurostat data, published last week, revealed once again a new record level of packaging waste had been reached – a startling 188.7kg per capita in 2021, an increase 10.8kg compared to the previous year.
In denial of this mounting evidence of the packaging waste crisis a right-wing coalition attempted to sabotage the provisions on reuse and waste prevention with alternative compromises, blindly mirroring lobbying demands. These have been rejected by the ENVI Committee today which adopted the report with a large majority of 56 votes in favour, 23 against and 5 abstentions.
Marco Musso, Senior Policy Officer for Circular Economy at the EEB, said:
“Today the packaging regulation survived another attempt to cripple its waste prevention and reuse provisions. But the final text supported by the ENVI Committee is weaker than the original proposal as a result of unprecedented levels of lobbying from the biggest polluters in the single-use packaging industry.
Europe urgently needs credible rules to stop the uncontrolled growth of packaging waste. Any further dilution of the waste prevention rules must be avoided.”
The next steps for Europe to adopt these much-needed rules to deal with packaging waste will be the final vote by the European Parliament Plenary in November and the adoption of a general approach by the Member States in December. EU institutions will then have to strike a final deal before the European elections in Spring 2024.
Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, Policy Manager for Circular Economy at the EEB, said:
“The long list of derogations and exemptions introduced in the compromises risks repeating the shortcomings of the current packaging directive whose vague and unenforceable requirements failed to limit the uncontrolled growth of packaging waste. The European Parliament Plenary must deliver a solid set of rules to reduce waste, restrict unnecessary packaging and promote reusable packaging solutions, not a patchwork of loopholes to meet lobbying requests.”