Brussels, 30 November 2022 (dpa/MIA) — The European Commission proposed on Wednesday to reduce waste from unnecessary packaging by 15% until 2040 and make remaining packaging more environmentally friendly.
“Over packaging is a nuisance to us and increasingly damaging to our environment,” European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said.
“I think everyone has experienced it, you order something online and it comes in a massive box that’s half empty.”
The commission wants companies to offer more products in reusable packaging, cut small plastic packaging and introduce a mandatory deposit system.
The new target comes in addition to existing ambitions to boost reusable and recyclable options and increase the use of recycled plastics in packaging.
Currently, packaging waste is growing faster in the European Union than its recycling rate, said EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius.
If the trend continues, plastic packaging waste would increase by 46% until 2030, according to a press release.
The commission aims to cut over 20 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and save 1.1 million cubic meters of water from producing packaging.
The EU’s executive branch also wants to introduce a new label saying what packaging is made of and in what recycling bin it should be disposed in.
The commission also proposed a new certification for some carbon removals technologies and farming practices, aiming to better quantify, monitor and verify how much carbon is removed from the atmosphere.
“This proposal is essential to the EU’s goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050,” a press release said.