European Commissioner Frans Timmermans and his fellow commissioner for the environment Virginijus Sinkevičius presented a number of far reaching European wide measures to curb package waste on Wednesday.
The measures target everything from biodegradable fruit stickers, a ban on small shampoo bottles in hotels and disposable coffee cups in bars to reusable beer bottles and recyclable leftover waste. Packaged fruit and vegetables will also be phased out.
Europeans produce an average of 180 kilos of packaging waste a year and half of all paper and 40% of all plastic waste consists of packaging, the commissioners say. The aim of the plan is to shave off 15% of the amount of packaging waste compared to 2018 by 2040.
The proposals will not be welcomed by the packaging industry and supermarkets, NOS said, because they will have to invest in recycling systems and alternative materials.
The plan states all member states must have a deposit scheme for single use plastic bottles and cans by 2028. The Netherlands already has such a scheme in place for bottles with cans to follow in April next year.
The commission also wants to tackle over-packaging. From 2030 ‘each packaging unit will have to be reduced to its minimum size in terms of weight, volume and packaging layers, for example by limiting empty space’, the draft reads. In the cast case of cosmetics and electronic products, for example, the percentage will be 15%.
Amsterdam has been grappling to deal with a glut of cardboard boxes made worse by peak online purchases around the holidays and events like Black Friday.
The city council has now started a campaign to encourage Amsterdammers to tear their boxes up and deposit the cardboard in the designated containers, so it can be recycled.
Waste and sustainability chief Zita Pels said extra collections in peak periods and more awareness on the part of Amsterdammers, as well as €100 fines for dumping waste next to the containers, would help make the capital cleaner and more liveable.
‘We are also talking to online retailers about more circular solutions for cardboard packing waste. Prevention is better than cure,’ she said.
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