Reuse garbage, recycle, plastic free. Food plastic packaging, trash on green moss background after picnic in forest. Top view. Copy space. Recycling plastic. Environmental pollution, ecology concept
Some weeks ago, a leaked draft of the revised European Commission’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, scheduled to be officially released on 30 November, was circulated. Industry and civil society welcomed the draft text, acknowledging the Commission’s ambition and commitment to putting in place legally binding targets for reuse of packaging.
In the last weeks, we have seen immense backlash from some industry players who oppose ambition and are lobbying to protect their business-as-usual interests. Their lack of agility and willingness to adapt for the greater good must not result in watering down the Commission’s commitment to this essential shift.
When the text is presented on 30 November, targets must be set to reduce the amount of single-use packaging as much as possible by:
a) cutting down on unnecessary packaging
b) making environmentally friendly reusable packaging the new norm, and
c) making non-recyclable packaging a thing of the past once and for all.
Echoing NGOs and progressive industry calling for strong regulation, four European member states sent a joint letter to the Commission, demanding four key elements: prevention, re-use, high-quality recycling, and recycled content, as a vital part of a sustainable future and the fight against the climate crisis. Both the urgency and importance of an improved European framework can no longer be ignored.