Packaging: recycling has been canned in favour of reuse


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The packaging sector has been united in opposition to the new and unexpected focus on reuse, in a leaked draft of the upcoming revision to the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. The supply chain had been working to reach targets for recycling and recycled content. Much of the industry's past investment in recycling would be redundant if the change goes ahead. But are the EU’s proposals for reuse actually going to work? Everyone wants to follow the three Rs ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, but when it comes to food and drink packaging, ‘reuse’ is not that easy.

The most controversial part of the draft proposal, according to EURACTIV, contains the  following targets for reusable packaging:

(*) 30% of cold and hot beverages by 2030 and 95% by 2040
(*) 20% of takeaway ready-prepared food by 2030 and 75% by 2040
(*) 20% of alcoholic beverages (excluding wine and spirits) by 2030 and 75% by 2040
(*) 20% of non-alcoholic beverages by 2030 and 75% by 2040
(*) 90% of large household appliance deliveries by 2030

These targets apply regardless of the materials from which packaging is made.

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