EuroCommerce has said that it is 'highly concerned' that the European Parliament’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation has called for refill stations to be required in retail outlets, as well as bans on fruit and vegetable packaging.
The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety adopted its report on the proposal for a Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) earlier this week.
According to EuroCommerce, the call for mandatory refill stations is concerning for a number of reasons, including the potential for food waste and spoilage, the need to ensure hygiene standards, and disproportionate demands for additional space (the proposal would oblige retailers with more than 400 square metres of floor space to offer at least 20% of their products via refill stations).
EuroCommerce also noted that a proposed ban on packaging for fruit and vegetables is 'not the right solution' to tackling the 'many, often conflicting factors' that define the choice of the optimal packaging for fresh produce.
'Clarity And Legal Certainty'
Commenting on the report, Christel Delberghe, the director general of EuroCommerce, which represents retailers and wholesalers in Europe, said, “Retailers and wholesalers support harmonising EU rules for packaging and a truly sustainable Single Market for waste. The regulation should support our members in their efforts and must provide clarity and legal certainty."
On the issue of reuse and refill requirements for several packaging formats, which was also noted in the report, Delberghe added that "we need legislation that gives retailers and wholesalers the flexibility they need to deploy solutions that work best for their shops, products and customers".
At the same time, EuroCommerce welcomes the proposals relating to harmonised labelling on packaging, as it would help to 'establish a new norm' where all EU citizens would know how to appropriately dispose of their packaging.