Packaging rules, agreement between EU environment ministers. Italy is the only one against it

On the Packaging regulations and packaging waste EU Council takes the official position with regard to the trialogue houses of Parliament And Commission and Italy is the only country that opposes it. And to remain more and more isolated. THE Environment Minister Europeans have agreed on a text that is in many ways even more ambitious than the one adopted by Parliament in November. And it should be remembered that this was approved by a large majority and the votes of P.D, M5s and a large part of it Forza Italy (always against it league And Foreign direct investment, although the text is very different from the text proposed by the EU Commission on November 30, 2022). However, the position just adopted appears to be close to this text. But if a balance is “found” for the EU Council between “the ambition of the proposal presented by the European Commission to reduce and avoid the production of packaging waste” and the grant of the Member States sufficient flexibility in the implementation of the regulation”, this is not the case for Pichetto Fratin. “We voted against it,” he said, “because the text absolutely does not meet the needs of our country.” In particular, the government rejects i rigid constraints Hey Reuse target and criticizes the regulations on the sector beverageswhich she was very insistent on Germanyshould make it easier big business and to penalize the Italian SME system”. The agreement was reached on qualified majority. The Minister of Spanish Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, on the occasion of the EU Council Presidency, asked who was against it. While Finland And Malta They said they had some reservations but supported the new text, Italy stuck to its position.

The government’s text: Sustainability and recyclable packaging – The Council retained the scope of the Commission proposal and extended it to all packaging independently used material, and all packaging waste, regardless of its origin (including industrial, manufacturing, retail, household). The text of the general approach retains most of these Sustainability requirements for all packaging placed on the market and the main objectives proposed by the Commission. The text tightens the requirements for substances contained in packaging by calling on the Commission with the support ofEuropean Chemicals Agencyto create a report 2026 to the presence of Dangerous substances in packaging to determine whether they have a negative impact on the reuse or recycling of packaging. The council changed the proposal to recyclable packaging. While Member States insisted that all packaging placed on the market must be recyclable, as proposed by the Commission, they agreed that packaging is considered recyclable if it is designed for material recycling and packaging waste is collected separately, sorted and in bulk extent can be recycled (the latter condition applies from 2035). The overall approach maintains the core targets for 2030 2040 regarding the minimum recycled content in plastic packaging. From 2034According to the text, the Commission should review the implementation of the 2030 targets and assess the feasibility of the 2040 targets. The council also agreed that the Teabag and that Adhesive labels They have to be on fruits and vegetables compostablethereby giving member states the opportunity to request this Coffee pods And plastic bags easily and compostable under certain conditions.

Reduction and reuse goals – In line with the Commission proposal, the general approach sets general headline targets for reducing packaging waste based on 2018 levels: 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035 and 15% by 2040. These targets should: a Revision by the Commission eight years after the entry into force of the Regulation. The new rules also introduce restrictions on some packaging formats, including those in Single-use plastic for fruit and vegetables, food and drinks, spices, sauces in the Horeca sector and for small cosmetics and toiletries in the hospitality industry, such as shampoo bottles or body lotions. In fact, single-use bans remain in place for various product categories, as do reuse targets for takeaway food and drinks, which were deleted in Parliament’s proposal. The text sets new reuse and replenishment targets for 2030 and 2040. For large ones, different goals apply domestic appliances, for example transport packaging for food and beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (except wine), transport packaging (except packaging for dangerous goods or large equipment and flexible packaging in direct contact with food) and collective packaging. Him too Cardboard packaging are exempt from these obligations.

Bail systems – According to the new rules, from 2029Member States must ensure that at least 90% of single-use plastic bottles and containers are collected separately each year. metal drinks. To achieve this, they need to put systems in place Refund of deposit (Drs) for such packaging formats. The minimum requirements for DRS do not apply to systems that were already in place before the regulation came into force if the systems in question reach the 90 percent target by 2029. The Council added an exemption from the obligation to introduce a DRS for Member States at a rate of Garbage sorting higher than the 78% achieved in 2026.

Pichetto Fratin: “Stricter proposal” – According to Minister Pichetto Fratin Negotiating position The EU Council’s statement on the proposal for a packaging regulation is “much more rigid” than that of the European Parliament, which provides for greater flexibility. Among the changes that Italy requested (and did not receive) is, as the Environment Minister says, “the one that…” compostablewe asked for one renewal a few years from January 2025 to give the technical opportunity to adapt and then parameter different given our level of differentiation. Where recycling reached a share of more than 75-80% – he added – we asked for room for an exemption from reuse.”

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