EU wants to ban mini shampoos and ketchup sachets to avoid waste

The EU wants to ban products like miniature shampoo bottles in hotels and individual ketchup sachets in restaurants to reduce plastic waste.

Restaurants, supermarkets, manufacturers and hotels will be banned from using all single-use plastic packaging and containers, according to a European Commission proposal presented on Wednesday.

The draft law contains binding EU-wide targets to promote the use of reusable coffee mugs, beer bottles, take-away boxes and packaging from online orders.

By 2030, all packaging must be either reusable or recyclable, the draft says.

There are exceptions to the regulations for companies with fewer than 10 employees.

Companies whose packaging waste and premises are below a certain level can also receive opt-outs. Plastics that are necessary for hygiene or food safety reasons can still be used.

It follows an EU ban last year on single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, cotton buds and Styrofoam cups.

“The way goods are packaged can and should be done much better. Such packaging is a nuisance for us and is increasingly damaging to our environment,” said Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

If MEPs and governments agree, Ireland, along with other EU countries, is committed to reducing packaging waste by 15 per cent per person by 2040 compared to 2018.

EU rules include a ban on hotels offering guests mini shampoo bottles.

Restaurants and cafes are required to use refillable containers for ketchup or mayonnaise when customers eat on-site. Take-away boxes will not be banned, although 40 must be reusable by 2040.

Supermarkets can no longer pack small amounts of fruit and vegetables in single-use plastic. Very light plastic carrier bags for loose groceries are still allowed.

By 2040, 80 coffee mugs and 90 transport packaging must be reusable.

There are no binding targets for detergent bottles.

Filter coffee pods, adhesive labels on fruit and vegetables and very light plastic carrier bags must be compostable within two years of the regulations coming into force.

Manufacturers are prevented from using “excessive packaging” for smaller items, including bubble wrap and packing chips to fill empty space.

The regulations provide for mandatory deposit and return systems for bottles and cans until 2029.

The government this week introduced its own deposit-return scheme, giving consumers 15 cents back for containers of 500ml or less and 25 cents for containers over 500ml.

The Environment Department says the Irish consume 1.9 billion bottles and cans of drink every year.

Ireland generated 224.5kg of packaging waste per person in 2020, which is the second highest on the bloc after Germany and well above the EU average of 177kg.

However, Ireland had one of the highest recycling rates in the EU27 in 2020. EU wants to ban mini shampoos and ketchup sachets to avoid waste

Fry Electronics Team

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