The European Union plans to ban certain types of packaging within a few years. This was the consensus reached by the EU environment ministers in Brussels. Among the forms of packaging that may be banned are single-use items for food and beverages in restaurants and cafes and disposable bags for fruits and vegetables.
Not only are certain forms of packaging being banned, but the use of others is expected to be significantly reduced. Examples include mini hotel shampoo containers and shrink wrap for suitcases at airports. This upcoming European standard also sets mandatory recycled content in several types of packaging and goals for reuse, recyclability, and compostability.
By 2029, the member states are expected to ensure that ninety percent of the materials in packaging end up in sorted waste containers. This is tied to the deposit refund system for plastic beverage bottles and cans, which is being prepared in the Czech Republic.
Negotiations on the new regulation have been challenging in recent weeks, according to Minister Petr Hladík. However, the Czech Republic supports the final version presented by the Spanish presidency.
A poll asking if readers agreed with the ban on plastic bags for fruits and vegetables showed that 32.5% agreed and 67.5% disagreed. A total of 13,972 readers voted.
The goal, Hladík explained, is to prevent the creation of packaging waste, promote high-quality recycling, and create a market for secondary raw materials. The new regulation is also expected to improve consumer information and create new business opportunities. In 2021, every European produced 188.7 kilograms of packaging waste. The average Czech citizen has between 138 and 140 kilograms of packaging waste annually.