Right to combat flood of plastic waste / Controversial bans rightly defused

During the plenary session on Wednesday, the European Parliament substantially changed the European Commission's proposal on packaging and packaging waste. Many elements of the regulation that were publically criticised have been fundamentally adjusted or completely deleted. For example, the controversial ban on paper sachets of sugar, salt, pepper and sweetener has been removed. After the vote the environment policy spokesman for the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP, Christian Democrats), Dr. Peter Liese said:

“I think it is right to combat the flood of plastic in particular and to improve recycling in those European countries where it is not yet working very well. We need a strong internal market for recycled raw materials to enhance our circular economy, but we don't need a waterfall of bans. Paper is a sustainable material and in Europe we really have other things to worry about at the moment than paper bags.”

The future obligation for e-commerce companies to offer reusable systems for their packaging will be suspended for those countries that have a high recycling rate for the relevant material. For Italy and Belgium, for example, this means that those who rely on paper and cardboard for their e-commerce business are exempt from the obligations. “I think this is very important because we must not put plastic and paper on the same level. Companies that avoid plastic by using paper must not be penalized.”