EU to propose boosting recycled content and reuse of packaging

Crushed plastic bottles are seen at a recycling centre in Paris May 4, 2011. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

BRUSSELS, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The European Commission is set to announce this week proposals to reduce packaging waste with new targets for recycled content in plastic drinks bottles and for the reuse of take-away cups and of packages used for online deliveries.

The revision of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive will seek to push towards an EU goal of ensuring all packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2030 and contributes towards reducing the bloc's carbon footprint to zero by 2050.

The proposal highlights that some 40% of plastics and 50% of paper consumed in the European Union is for packaging, according to a draft seen by Reuters, and that packaging as a whole makes up 36% of municipal solid waste.

The proposal, which could still be changed, retains recycling targets of 65% by 2025 and 70% by 2030 from the directive's last update in 2018.

However, it introduces new targets for recycled content in a variety of plastic packaging.

For 2030, these would be 30% for plastic drinks bottles and for contact sensitive packaging such as food wrapping made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), 10% for contact sensitive packaging not made from PET an 35% for other plastic packaging.

By 2040, these would rise to 50% for contact sensitive packaging and 65% for other packaging, including drinks bottles.

It also sets 2030 and 2040 targets for packaging reuse.

For take-away drinks cups they are respectively 20% and 80%, for beer and soft drinks containers 10% and 25% and for packaging used for non-food online deliveries 10% and 50%.

Companies using such packaging would have to set up or joint systems to ensure reuse.

The proposal, likely to be presented on Wednesday, will need approval from the European Parliament and the European Council, the group of the 27 EU governments, to enter law and will probably be subject to some revisions.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten

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