Almost all packaging sectors are currently dependent on single-use packaging, and this comes at a huge cost for the environment and for society. Reuse packaging systems present great opportunities for the environment, for people and for the economy.” – Larissa Copello, Packaging & Reuse Policy Officer at Zero Waste Europe

Policy change is key to support the transition to reusable packaging systems while ensuring packaging waste prevention and supporting a circular and local economy.

The overall production of packaging and generation of packaging waste has been steadily growing over the past 10 years. In 2017, 173 kg of packaging waste was generated per inhabitant in the EU.

The packaging sector is also the biggest contributor to plastic waste, generating around 17.8 million tonnes in Europe in 2018, accounting for about 60% of post-consumer plastic waste. As statistics have shown, a real solution to packaging waste is urgently needed.

ZWE works at the EU and national level together with its members and the BFFP movement to address packaging waste generation through the adoption of measures that address primarily value preservation and not waste – in line with the waste hierarchy. This means putting in place waste prevention measures (that are able to stop packaging waste from being produced in the first place) and supporting business models that are waste-free by design, such as packaging-free shops and reusable systems.