There European Commission defends the proposed regulation on packaging. And it responds to the negative opinion expressed by House of Representativesin June 2023, in the wake of what was also done by Senate. “The proposal aims to remain materially and technologically neutral and is not intended to replace the technological solutions existing with others. However, given the continued past and projected growth in waste packaging in the European Union, measures are needed to address this problem, which go beyond the recycling” he writes Star KyriakidouCommissioner for Health and Food Safety, a Lorenzo Fountain, President of the Chamber. He adds: “Even if the proposed measures to reduce packaging waste are implemented, it is expected to increase by 19% by 2030. infrastructure available, even in Italy, will not be sufficient to treat them all.” Thus, yet another question and answer takes place on a very hot topic for the Peninsulaso much so that when the proposal was presented, in November 2022, at a press conference the now former vice president of the EU executive body and responsible for Green DealFrans Timmermans, wanted to address theItalymaking it clear from which country they had come pressures larger.
The document of the Chamber of Deputies – In fact, in April 2023, the Senate European Union Policies Committee approved, with the opposition votes against, a resolution which rejected the proposed regulation. And in June, the commissions met Environment and Production Activities of the Chamber also expressed one negative rating (while the two alternative evaluation proposals are positive 5 Star Movement and Alleanza Verdi e Sinistra) asking, among other things, to use a directive instead of a regulation, or to introduce flexibility measures into the text. For the deputies, “the proposed regulatory intervention” is “focused on the reuse of packaging to the detriment of its recycling”, but in reality the EU Commission has already clarified that one path does not exclude the other. “Recycling and reuse are not competing,” even though “not all recycling practices work really well” and “the reuse has greater environmental benefits than single use” Brussels explained. However, in the document approved by House Committees it was written: “It is not clear for what reasons the Member States which already record high rates of recycling they should completely change the approach successfully followed so far”.
The response of the EU Commission – In her response, Stella Kyriakidou reiterates the concept. “The proposed regulation aims to further improve and support the recycling and, to this end, addresses obstacles to the circularity of packaging, such as the design features that hinder it. As a result – he writes – it is expected that even more packaging waste will become available for recycling, which means that the return on waste will be fully guaranteed. investments carried out in infrastructures”. As regards the possibility of maintaining the legal form of a directive, the Commission believes, however, that the change of legal instrumentwith obligations applicable equally and directly to all economic operators, “is necessary to meet the objectives of proposal”, i.e. “preserve the internal market of packaging while ensuring more sustainable packaging”.
Food safety, waste, life cycle – The Commission reassures the House of Representatives also regarding concerns about the impact of the proposal on food security and waste food: “The use of packaging generally does not increase the shelf life of products and plays a minor role in preventing food wastewith the exception of articles fragile. For this reason, the proposed restrictions on single-use packaging for fresh fruit and vegetables do not apply to such delicate products.” And even if the Commission takes note of the position of the Chamber of Deputies according to which the impacts of the proposed measures and of goals on reuse have not been adequately evaluated, underlines that “the methodology applied in the impact assessment accompanying the proposal is based on the principles ofenvironmental footprint”. And he explains: “Although some recent life cycle analyzes commissioned by industry particularly question reuse targets and bans on packaging single use, numerous other available independent studies support these measures.” For the Commission, the proposed measures “which harmonize some requirements relating to the extended responsibility of producer” would not increase the burden on businesses.
Compostable security deposit and node – No backtracking on the systems either deposit And return. “This is one of the key enabling measures for reach the objectives of the proposal. Currently, a large percentage of bottles Of plastic and metal cans end up incinerated, landfilled or even abandoned.” These are high-value packaging waste materials, which can be reused in packaging, if collection systems guarantee their sufficient purity. Without considering that the proposal also introduces the possibility that Member States may not comply with this obligation if they achieve a high collection rate. For the deputies of the majoritythe application of the proposed legislation would have a highly negative and paradoxical impact on Italy “which has developed a packaging waste treatment system capable of achieving, many years in advance, the European recycling objectives set for 2025 and for 2030 and which operates on all materials of packagingincluding packaging waste in compostable bioplastic collected together with household waste”. And on which, however, they invite reflection not only on the investigation of Greenpeace, published as a preview on ilfattoquotidiano.it as part of the ‘Plastic trolleys’ campaign, but the same words as the EU Commission. In particular of Timmermans and the Commissioner for the Environment Virginijus Sinkevičius: “Compostable plastic is only good if it is good for the environment and what it requires must be specified installations industrial. Biodegradable plastics are not a license to litter.”