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Packaging directive: the Italian "soft line" passes

Recycling has been encouraged, with more flexible rules regarding the size of containers

After the emissions directive, the Italian line collects a new victory. In fact, a decidedly softened version of the packaging directive has been passed to the Industry and Agriculture Commissions of the European Parliament, advanced by the European Commission with the intention of encouraging reuse (which is most common in Northern European countries), to the detriment of recycling, supported above all by Mediterranean countries, including Italy.

The draft thus modified will soon be examined by the Environment Commission. The Italian line is absolutely transversal to the alignments and was voted by Conservatives, Popular and even Socialists. Only the Greens have remained intransigent positions. "We have met the needs of the business world: our country has peaks of excellence in the field of recycling and, in the regulation on packaging, we want to take this into account, enhancing the good that has already been done by the industry. In this way, she adds, we will give strength to the whole supply chain", declared MEP Patrizia Toia (Pd).

Specifically in the current draft, the bans on disposable shampoo packs in hotels and B&Bs have remained, favoring the use of refillable containers. On the other hand, the obligation to reuse packaging for food and beverages in the Horeca sector is eliminated. Finally, the reuse of packaging necessary for industrial transport is delayed to 2030.

Thanks to Mr Toia 's amendment, the surface below which exemption from reuse obligations applies for small businesses doubles from 100 to 200 meters, with the addition of an exemption if it is demonstrated that recycling is more convenient than reuse in terms of environmental impact (a useful parameter, among others, is the amount of water and energy required for sterilisation). Furthermore, disposable packaging for condiments, sauces and sugar and those for fruit and vegetables under one and a half kg remain, together with magnum-sized bottles of wine.

Another text amended by an Italian MEP is that of Salvatore De Meo (Forza Italia). "No bans or unrealistic targets - explains De Meo -. We have guaranteed the protection of our food excellence, Made in Italy and all products with protected geographical indications. In this way we avoid the increase in food waste and protect consumers".

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EFA News - European Food Agency