Press release: We cannot recycle ourselves out of the waste crisis

04.05.2023 | Kreislaufwirtschaft, Presse

Press release: We cannot recycle ourselves out of the waste crisis

Brussels, 4.5.2023

This morning the members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee discussed a draft report on the regulation on packaging and packaging waste.

The revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive aims to prevent the creation of packaging waste by reducing the amount, making all packaging on the EU market recyclable by 2030 and reducing the need for natural primary resources by increasing the use of recycled plastics becomes.

According to shadow rapporteur MEP Delara Burkhardt, the current packaging waste regime has neglected the top level of the waste hierarchy. With the Commission’s new proposals to ban certain unnecessary packaging formats and the first proposal for binding reuse quotas, she sees an opportunity to rectify these omissions:

„Since the start of my mandate, I have never received so many lobbying requests as I did on the Packaging and Packaging Waste regulation. Understandable, because packaging can be found everywhere. On average, every European produces half a kilo of packaging waste per day. I too am sometimes amazed at how much rubbish accumulates in my apartment within a week. And mountains of rubbish don’t just grow in people’s homes. Dealing with packaging waste is a global challenge.”

“Recycling alone is not the solution, although the industry likes to say so. We cannot recycle ourselves out of the waste crisis. And even simple substitutions between different single-use packaging materials are not enough to combat the dramatic increase in packaging waste. Waste prevention and reuse must be at the forefront of packaging regulations”

„The draft report by rapporteur Ries goes in the right direction. Unfortunately, the draft pulls the teeth out of some strong instruments by deleting the reuse targets for take-away drinks and food.The proposal is a very good basis for discussion. However, when it comes to waste reduction and prevention, I think we could – and should – do a lot more.”

Ms. Burkhardt is available for interview requests and background discussions.