After months of difficult negotiations with heavy industry pressure in the background, the ENVI committee ended up accepting the lukewarm Compromise Amendments proposed by the Rapporteur on the file, Belgian Renew MEP Frédérique Ries.
Brussels, 24 October 2023
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Today, the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted on its report on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, reacting to the proposal issued by the European Commission in November 2022. After months of difficult negotiations with heavy industry pressure in the background, the committee ended up accepting the lukewarm Compromise Amendments proposed by the Rapporteur on the file, Belgian Renew MEP Frédérique Ries. On some of the main sticking points, such as on packaging prevention and mainstreaming of reuse systems, the scales were tipped by three or four votes.
“The average lifetime of a packaging item does not exceed 20 minutes before it is thrown into a bin. Decision-makers should harness their regulatory power to drive ambition and support the mainstreaming of existing, proven solutions such as restrictions on certain types of packaging as well as reuse systems to reduce record-high amounts of packaging waste. Allowing business-as-usual practices to continue fuels the triple climate, biodiversity and pollution crisis.”Ioana Popescu, Rethink Plastic Coordinator
Reactions and analyses from our members and partners:
- Press release by Zero Waste Europe
- Press release by the European Environmental Bureau
- Reaction by ECOS
- Reaction by the Forest-Protection-NGO Fern
The ENVI position just adopted holds many exemptions and derogations which do not only reduce the environmental ambition of the regulation, it will undermine its future enforcement as well. Ahead of the European Parliament plenary vote, which is expected for the week of 20th November, the Rethink Plastic alliance and partner NGOs call on MEPs to fix loopholes introduced by the compromises and safeguard environmental ambition in the face of the packaging waste crisis. The current Spanish Presidency compromise text as well as the initial Commission proposal hold considerably more promise towards slashing packaging waste.
Notes for editors:
- The European Commission is revising its existing Packaging Directive as it failed to address the uncontrolled growth of packaging waste, which is a key environmental concern that poses problems for municipalities and citizens alike .
- The latest annual waste data published on Thursday 19th October reveals Europe’s packaging waste has reached a new record of 188.7kg per capita.
- During the ENVI vote, all eyes were on Compromises 10 and 12 which include key measures on reuse and banning unnecessary packaging respectively
- For more information, read our factsheet on Reusable Takeaway Packaging, our report on Disposable Paper-based Food Packaging. The false solution to the packaging waste crisis.
- Please refer to the Media Briefing on industry lobbying and the continuous watering-down of the PPWR, as well as this Media briefing on the explosion of paper packaging in the EU
Rethink Plastic is an alliance of leading European NGOs, representing thousands of active groups, supporters and citizens in every EU Member State.
We are part of the global Break Free From Plastic movement, consisting of over 11,000 organisations and individuals worldwide demanding an end to plastic pollution.
The Rethink Plastic alliance has been working together with an informal alliance of NGOs with expert knowledge on the entire lifecycle of plastics and paper. The members of this informal coalition are Zero Waste Europe, European Environmental Bureau, ECOS, ClientEarth, Surfrider Foundation, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Recycling Network Benelux, Fern and the Environmental Paper Network.