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European Union proposes new solution for plastic packaging

European Union proposes new solution for plastic packaging

Image source: © canva
Weronika Paliczka,
25.03.2024 16:30

Although Europeans are gradually adopting green solutions, they still produce excessive waste. The European Union has proposed a new plan for plastic packaging to tackle this issue.

It's common to find small disposable bottles for cosmetics in hotels, fruit wrapped in plastic, sauces served in plastic sachets, and disposable cutlery wrapped in plastic. This overuse of plastic is causing environmentalists to feel extremely worried about the future. The European Union is also concerned about the planet's fate and is trying to combat the widespread pollution caused by plastic.

How much plastic waste does an average European produce?

According to Eurostat, in 2021, each person in Europe generated approximately 190 kg of packaging waste. This waste mainly consists of takeaway food containers and other disposable plastics. Joanna Kądziołka from the Polish Zero Waste Association explains in an interview with TVN24 that the goal is to reduce packaging waste by 5% by 2030 and 15% by 2040. The crucial aspect is that any packaging used needs to be recyclable.

Mikołaj Troczyński, a representative of WWF Poland, emphasises the necessity of having an alternative before completely banning plastic products. According to him, viable substitutes such as wood, paper, or other forms of plastic must be made available. For example, he suggests using cotton cloth infused with natural wax as a replacement for plastic wraps commonly used for sandwiches.

The EU has a plan

EU politicians have set an ambitious target to eliminate waste with a recycling rate of less than 70% by 2030. To achieve this, all packaging produced will have to be recyclable. Additionally, EU representatives are proposing other solutions, such as implementing a deposit for reusable packaging in restaurants. This means that customers can "borrow" a box and later return it to reclaim the deposit. Similar rules have already been successful at music festivals, where reusable beverage cups are issued along with a deposit.

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