In the ongoing negotiations of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, the realities of disposable paper-based food packaging should not be ignored. Marketing single-use paperbased products as sustainable alternatives to plastics is misleading citizens and policy makers. Legislators must seize the opportunity to curb the growing levels of packaging waste driven by overreliance on throwaway applications.
To effectively prevent waste, the EU must adopt effective rules to address the uncontrolled growth of single-use packaging, no matter the material it is made of. In particular, to lessen pressure impact on forests, climate, biodiversity, water use and human health globally, it must champion a dramatic reduction of paper-based packaging. It also must curb the widespread use of composite packaging materials and the waste they create as well as support transparency and restrictions of the harmful chemicals they so often contain.