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MEPs back proposed packaging rules

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New packaging rules have moved a step closer for the EU after they were adopted by the European Parliament.

MEPs overwhelmingly backed new targets to slash the volume of productive material in use across the continent by 5 per cent by 2030, 10 per cent by 2035 and 15 per cent by 2040.

Empty space won’t be allowed to account for more than half of packaging used by the grouped, transport and e-commerce sectors under the rules.

Certain single-use plastic packaging types will be banned from 1 January 2030, including protection for fresh fruit and vegetables; food and drink filled and consumed in cafés and restaurants; individual portions of condiments; miniature toiletries; and very lightweight plastic carrier bags.

Excluding lightweight wood, cork, textile, rubber, ceramic, porcelain and wax, all packaging will have to fulfil certain criteria on recyclability.

Approved measures also include minimum recycled content targets for plastic packaging.

Rapporteur Frédérique Ries said: “The new rules foster innovation and include exemptions for micro-enterprises.”

The European Council needs to formally approve the agreement before it can enter into force.