The European Parliament is set to vote on the packaging waste regulation, with the goal of reducing waste and overpackaging, and increasing reuse. The Commission predicts economic savings of over 47 billion euros in the EU with this proposal, which prohibits overpacking and single-use packaging for fruits, vegetables, and small shampoo bottles in hotels. However, the food and brewing industries in Finland have raised concerns about increased costs and negative environmental impacts resulting from the reuse goals.
The Government of Finland is concerned about reducing packaging leading to an increase in food waste or endangering food safety. The law will take its final shape in negotiations between the EU Commission, the Parliament, and the Council of member states. The environment committee of the European Parliament voted on packaging waste in October, with the majority supporting the proposal for at least 20 percent of non-alcoholic beverages to be offered in reusable packaging from 2030.
However, MEPs have expressed dissatisfaction with the Commission’s proposal, arguing that it does not properly consider life cycle thinking and could lead to unsustainable practices. They have also criticized the Commission’s inadequate impact assessments. As a result, more than 500 amendment proposals are on the table for a complicated and difficult vote by MEPs.