PFAS toppings on your pizza ? Renew Europe succeeds in banning forever chemicals from contact – sensitive food packaging.

Author: Miguel Antony M Chevalier




According to the latest Eurostat report, we are struggling with an ever-increasing amount of packaging waste in the European Union. In 2021, the total amount of packaging waste peaked at 84 million tons, while the European average increased to the sum of 188,7 kilograms of packaging waste per inhabitant. It is even expected that, if policy remains unchanged, this specific mountain of packaging waste reaches a new record height of 209 kg per person by 2030.

Now there is a fresh approach to shrink that mountain! Renew Europe therefore welcomes that the European Parliament has today given the go-ahead for a new policy on packaging and packaging waste, while plenary has set new standards for a sustainable handling of packaging in the near future.

While setting ambitious reduction targets and mandatory recycling targets for packaging and packaging waste, our Renew Rapporteur Mrs. Frédérique Ries has achieved safer packaging rules for contact-sensitive food packaging. As a result, banning PFAS chemicals, infamous for their persistent harmful effects, from contact-sensitive food packaging by 2026 will be a real win for consumer health protection. In addition to banning ‘eternal’ pollutants in food packaging, the new packaging regulation contains the following main elements :

- A packaging waste reduction target for all packaging materials : 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035 and 15% by 2040.

- Mandatory recyclability of packaging by 2030.

- A ban on single-use plastics in HORECA for retail sales by 2030,in order to promote the adoption of reusable alternatives.

- To maximise the efficiency of packaging and minimise waste, a maximum empty space rate of 50% has been established.

- By the end of 2027, the Commission will have to assess the proposed sustainability targets and criteria for bio-based plastics.

MEP Fédérique Ries, (MR, Belgium) and Renew rapporteur says after the endorsement vote in plenary today:

“For the first time in an environmental law, the EU is setting targets to reduce packaging consumption, regardless of the material used. We call on all industrial sectors, EU countries and consumers to play their part in the fight against excess packaging. The ban on forever chemicals in food packaging is a great victory for the health of European consumers. It was also essential that environmental ambitions meet industrial reality. The provisional agreement fosters innovation and includes exemptions for micro enterprises.”


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