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Press release |

There’s still time to push back against throwaway culture

Today, the European Parliament voted on its position on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation ahead of the trilogue negotiations. Although the Parliament did not back some of the most ambitious measures proposed by the Commission, this marks the beginning of the pushback against the disposable giants.

Grace O’Sullivan, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on Packaging and Packaging Waste, comments:

"Packaging is cheap but the price for our future is very high. People across the EU are sick to the teeth of unnecessary packaging waste and single-use junk. Over the past few decades, corporate Europe has developed a reckless throwaway culture with everything from plates to packaging built for single use. We pay for this - in higher prices, in waste collection charges and ultimately our environment pays a heavy cost as well.

“With this legislation, we begin to push back against this throwaway culture. Conservatives in Parliament unfortunately managed to remove important restrictions on superfluous single-use packaging, demonstrating the influence of the single-use lobby and fast food corporations. However, we secured support for stronger recycling rules as well as preserving entirely new reuse requirements. Importantly, we also achieved a new ban on ‘forever-chemicals’ like PFAS and BPA in certain food packaging. The fight now moves to trilogue negotiations."



Packaging waste generation is at an all-time high in the EU, and is projected to grow a further 19% by 2030 if no action is taken. 40% of all new virgin plastic and 50% of new paper is now manufactured solely for packaging materials, much of which is discarded after a single use.


European Parliament building in Strasbourg / © European Union 2019 / Architecture-Studio
European Parliament building in Strasbourg / © European Union 2019 / Architecture-Studio
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Grace O'Sullivan
Grace O'Sullivan

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