EU to ban single-use plastic in deal on new green packaging rules

By Leonie Cater | 03/05/2024 12:49 PM EST

Negotiators struck a deal that’s far less ambitious than initially proposed.

BRUSSELS — Single-use plastic packaging for fresh fruit and vegetables, mini hotel toiletries and fast food in restaurants will soon be banned in the EU, after negotiators struck a deal Monday to make the packaging of everyday items more sustainable.

The new legislation aims to tackle the EU’s mounting piles of packaging waste. The bloc generated 188.7 kilograms of packaging waste per inhabitant in 2021 — that’s 10.8 kg more per person than in 2020, the biggest increase in 10 years.

“This is clearly an historic agreement,” said Frédérique Ries, the lawmaker leading work on the file for the European Parliament. “We are asking all industrial sectors, as well as member states, to make an effort, but we also wanted the consumer to have a role to play in this fight against over-packaging.”


As part of the effort, all packaging on the EU market will have to be recyclable by 2030, and from Jan. 1, 2035, recyclable packaging will need to be recycled “at scale.”