EU may ban single-use plastics like hotel shampoos, takeaway cups & ketchup packets
The European Union could soon ban small shampoo bottles in hotels, single-serving mayo or ketchup sachets, coffee creamer cups, and creamer in sachets. European Commissioners Frans Timmermans (Green Deal) and Virginijus Sinkevičius (Environment) made these proposals in a bill to reduce packaging waste, NOS reports.
The European Commission wants to ban cafes and coffee shops from using disposable cups when customers drink their beverages on-site. And by 2040, 80 percent of takeaway cups must be reusable. Restaurants and fast food chains won’t be allowed to use disposable packaging if people eat on the spot.
The Commissioners want food and drink packaging to be reusable and refillable more often. Beer sellers must sell 10 percent of their drinks in refillable bottles by 2030, and 20 percent ten years later.
The bill includes a ban on fruit in foam trays covered with plastic. Instead, fruit should be sold loose with biodegradable stickers, if necessary.
The European Commission also wants to end large delivery boxes containing small products. According to the bill, packaging will only be allowed to contain up to 40 percent of empty space in the future.
All packaging material that remains after these changes must be as recyclable or degradable as possible, the Commissioners said.
Every EU resident discards an average of 180 kilograms of packaging waste annually. Half of the paper and 40 percent of the plastic used per year is packaging. Packaging waste accounts for 36 percent of the waste stream.
Timmermans and Sinkevičius’ plans should decrease packaging waste per EU resident by 15 percent in 2040 compared to 2018. The bill still has to pass through European Parliament and the individual member states. According to NOS, it will take at least three years for the proposed changes to be implemented.
Though it may take even longer as the packaging industry and its customers will likely object to the plans. They’ll have to invest in recycling systems and switch to more sustainable materials.