According to the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan published earlier this year, “the amount of materials used for packaging is growing continuously and in 2017 packaging waste in Europe reached a record – 173 kg per inhabitant, the highest level ever”.
In order to tackle this problem, the European Commission has announced it will reinforce mandatory essential requirements for packaging placed on the EU market, and consider other measures that would address reducing (over)packaging and packaging waste, and driving design for re-use and recyclability for packaging.
With this objective in mind, the European Commission has kick-started a long assessment of the situation that will result in a proposal to amend existing EU legislation on packaging waste. A consortium of consultancies, commissioned by the Commission to support its impact assessment, is currently consulting stakeholders on two aspects:
- Reinforce the essential requirements with a view to improve design for reuse and promote high quality recycling, as well as strengthen their enforcement;
- Achieve a reduction in the generation of packaging and packaging waste.
These discussions are particularly relevant for the e-commerce sector. As European policymakers attempt to find the right way forward, data in relation to packaging at EU level, retail initiatives with recyclable and reusable packaging, feedback on how to drive re-use in the sector and so on will be extremely important.
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