Packaging-reduction targets loom for Europe


A deal has been struck to slash the amount of packaging used across the EU.

European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on targets to reduce protective material by 5 per cent by 2030, 10 per cent five years later and 15 per cent no later than 2040.


All packaging would have to be recyclable under the deal, while certain single-use plastic packaging, including for unprocessed fresh fruit and food consumed in cafes and restaurants, would be outright banned at the end of this decade.

Ultra-lightweight plastic carrier bags would be prohibited unless required for hygiene reasons or to prevent food waste.

Final distributors of takeway food and drinks would be forced to allow consumers to bring their own containers and to offer 10 per cent of products in reusable packaging by 2030.

Member states would be required to incentivise restaurants, canteens, bars, cafés and catering services to serve tap water in a reusable or refillable format.

Ninety per cent of single-use plastic and metal drinks containers should be collected through deposit-return schemes by the end of the decade under the agreement.

Parliament and Council need to formally approve the deal before it can enter into force.

Rapporteur Frédérique Ries said: “For the first time in an environmental law, the EU is setting targets to reduce packaging consumption, regardless of the material used.

“We call on all industrial sectors, EU countries and consumers to play their part in the fight against excess packaging.”