Amid EU Commission’s plans to set strict new targets for packaging waste, a new set of evidence has highlighted that the proposed targets on reusables are unsustainable, unscientific, and unnecessary.
The EPPA (European Paper Packaging Alliance) has reportedly issued renewed calls for the European Commission to put the entire product cycle at the core of its vision for a circular economy. It will also eliminate the use of imminent Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposals for effectively outlawing more sustainable packaging solutions.
Speaking on the latest findings, Eric Le Lay, President of EPPA stated that this study authenticates that reusable packaging is not always the best solution for the environment.
The President mentioned that it is essential to note that proper life cycle analysis must be reflected in the context of the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposal.
Eric also revealed that the regulation’s leaked draft text is disheartening, further adding that it sets discriminatory and unrealistic targets for in-store dining and takeaway services.
The European Commission should accept the scientific evidence that single-use, paper-based containers perform better on critical environmental metrics while being much more practical for food delivery services and their customers for improving hygiene and convenience, added Eric.
According to the new life cycle analysis study, the recyclable, paper-based packaging in the takeaway and food delivery sector offers considerable environmental advantages above reusable systems across 12 impact categories.
These include freshwater consumption, climate change, and resource depletion.
The result of the study demonstrates that shifting to reusable alternatives would lead to generating 48% more CO2-equivalent emissions, demanding 82% more mineral and resource extraction, and consuming 39% more fresh water.
The result analysis also shows that this is because transporting back the food and beverage containers to restaurants after use and washing and drying them hygienically consume far more water, resources, and energy.
If the LCA study is believed, which adds to several other pieces of evidence, the reusable container systems are not the solution that some seem to believe.