The European Union: on the road to greener… and healthier packaging

188.7 kg per annum. This is, on average, the amount of waste generated by one European citizen in 2021. This is 10.8 kg more than 2020 ie. “The biggest increase in 10 years and almost 32 kg more compared to 2011”. This is revealed by a studyEurostat, released on October 19. This Tuesday, MEPs met in the Environment Committee to vote on a compromise to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste.

An important first step after 9 months of intense hostile lobbying. “A Little Miracle”, says the text’s Belgian rapporteur, Frédérique Ries (MR). The text still needs to be adopted in a plenary session before moving on to the next stages of the legislative process.

Ambitions are maintained

Parcels, plastic cups… Europeans have never produced so much packaging waste. However, Belgium is one of the better students in the Union. For example, in terms of recycling of plastic packaging, Belgium recycles almost half (49.2%) compared to France’s 23.1%.

However, at the European level, everything points to crossing the bar of 200 kg per year by 2030 in the absence of all measures. To avoid this, the European Commission proposed legislation last year to set a target to reduce the size of packaging. 10% rate per capita in 2035 (compared to 2018) (-15% by 2040).

In the European Parliament’s environment committee this Tuesday, the vote was promised to be close and the text largely unravelled. In the end, the text was 56 votes in favor, 23 votes against and 5 abstentions. In addition, despite some relaxation, the main routes have been maintained.

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