Goodbye to plastic? Italy postpones, the others accelerate. Packaging for fruit and vegetables banned in France from 2022, in Spain from 2023. And Germany launches reuse

While Italy postpones for the umpteenth time the introduction of the plastic tax, making the lobby, and is still struggling with several problems that hinder the correct transposition of the European directive on single use (you risk a infringement procedure), other countries are using the transposition of the directive to enact new rules that reduce the packaging disposable. This is the case of the France, which heralded its end for numerous products ortofrutticoli from January 2022, and of the Spain, where since 2023 in the business (regardless of their size) will no longer be sold in plastic packaging fruit e vegetables packaged in batches weighing less than one and a half kilograms.

FRANCE AND ITS ANTI-WASTE LAW – In particular, the French government will ban the use of plastic wrappers weighing less than one and a half kilograms for the sale of about 30 types of fruit and vegetables. In the list my, pere, oranges, clementine, kiwi, tangerines, lemons, grapefruits, plums, melons, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, persimmon. For the vegetables, on the other hand, leeks, zucchini, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes and carrots, tomatoes round, onions and turnips, cabbage, cauliflower, pumpkin, parsnip, radish, topinambur, root vegetables. A tolerance threshold is foreseen until 2026 for more fragile products, such as red fruits. It should be emphasized that in France, 37% of fruit and vegetables are now sold with thepackaging. According to the government, the measure “should make it possible to avoid over one billion unnecessary billions packaging in plastic per year “. But Paris is working on several fronts, thanks to Anti-waste law which has several objectives: reduction of disposable plastic, fight against waste, reuse of objects, fight against planned obsolescence and improvement of production systems. In this context, the law provides for the end of the marketing disposable plastic packaging by 2040 with intermediate steps every five years. A reduction of 20% is already being aimed for by 2025. But the same rule that prohibits the packaging in plastic for fruit and vegetables, it bans many other products: from advertising material sent for mail, to plastic toys, of those generally inserted inside foodstuffs and intended for children, or those given free if you buy a full menu in the fast-food. “France has set itself the goal of reducing inlet to consumption of bottles by 50% by 2030 ”explains a ilfattoquotidiano.it Giuseppe Ungherese, in charge of the Pollution campaign of Greenpeace.

SPAIN AND THE ROYAL DECREE ON PACKAGING – And so did Spain, which has set the same target in a Royal decree on packaging and waste which also contains measures for to encourage the sale of water in bulk and not in bottles. And also Madrid moves on the front of packaging in fruit and vegetables. Spain has already announced that from 2023 in business retail (regardless of their size), fruit and vegetables packed in batches weighing less than one and a half kilograms will no longer be sold in packaging of plastic. Also in this case, the royal decree provides for a list of products a risk deterioration (therefore excluded from the ban) that will be drawn up by the Spanish Food Safety Agency and the nutrition. Incidentally, compared to the plastic tax for which European countries have done little or nothing, Spain will impose a new tax on the use of non-plastic packaging. reusable, setting the rate at € 0.45 per kilogram.

GERMANY, AUSTRIA AND UNITED KINGDOM – Germany, on the other hand, had already moved with the law on packaging (Packaging Act), which entered into force on 1 January 2019 as amended last spring from Bundestag, the German Federal Parliament. But from 2023, restaurants, bistros and cafes will have to be able to sell (also a address) drinks and takeaway also in containers reusable, without there being an additional cost. These containers will be delivered to customers for a deposit security, which pushes them to return. Even in Austria, with a series of limitations, one was approved a few weeks ago rule (which will not come into force, however, before 2025) which introduces deposit systems for containers for drinks (bottles and cans) not only of plastic, but also of glass and aluminum. Consumers will have the option in all supermarkets, including discount, to buy drinks in reusable bottles rather than disposable plastic. In Europe, security deposit systems, or Drs (Deposit return system) are already active in a dozen countries (including Germany, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Netherlands, Croatia), while another dozen should introduce them by 2024. The UK not a good example: so far only the intention to introduce before the end of 2024 (and only in England) a security deposit system for plastic bottles. Initiative announced, however, already six years ago. The Governo UK instead, it plans to adopt a new tax (effective from April 2022) on all plastic containers, produced or imported, with a recycled plastic component less than 30%.

THE REGULATION ON SECURITY DEPOSIT, MONEY TO COMPACTORS – Even in the decree Simplification until, approved at the end of July, an amendment signed by the M5S deputy was inserted Aldo Pen, which introduces security deposit systems for plastic, glass and metal beverage containers, but it is unclear whether it will be voluntary or compulsory, while it will be difficult for it to enter into force, as expected, by November 2021. To the Minister of Ecological Transition in agreement with the Minister of Economical progress (after consulting the associations of the most representative companies in the sector), the task of establishing times, methods implementation, objectives to be achieved, but also security values, terms of payment and methods of returning the packaging. In short, the match it is still open. “But in the meantime – comments Hungarian – Italy is always going in its own direction. For example, resources continue to be spent on i compactors that, following the indications of Parliament (and the EU), in a few years they should no longer be of use ”. The reference is to the announcement of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, with which theinstallation of new eco-compactors. For implants’plastic eater‘are expected, announced the Undersecretary for Ecological Transition Vannia Gava (Lega), a dowry “of 27 million to be allocated to local authorities: a considerable amount to involve the municipalities in the great challenge that is the treatment of plastic”. And it’s money from the Recovery fund.

SUP DIRECTIVE, SWORD OF DAMOCLES – And then there is the crux of the transposition of the directive on single use, the SUP. Several problems (in addition to the three months of delay). Because in recent days we should have voted in Commission Atmosphere, in the Chamber, the text of the government. Which, as already reported by ilfattoquotidiano.it, presents several differences with the path indicated by the European Union. The Hungarian himself was at the hearing in the Commission, indicating which they were: “The Mite He managed to get worse the first draft, introducing new exemptions “. The SUP directive also prohibits biodegradable plastics and compostable and also banishes disposable paper products, covered with a plastic film (lining / coating) and which contain less than 10% plastic (while the Italian text ‘saves’ plastic coatings that have a weight of less than 10% of the total weight of the product). “Minister Cingolani is making a mistake with the transposition of the SUP directive because it promotes the production of single-use waste, mixed with 10% plastic – said, in this regard, the former M5s deputy Giovanni Vianello – and also of the so-called compostable which actually represent a trouble for recycling, due to the shorter processing times of the organic compared to the longer times required for the breakdown of the bioplastiche“. The vote, scheduled for last week, has in fact been postponed: the next vote is scheduled for today. All this within a week of the postponement to 2023 of the introduction of the plastic tax: one of the few measures with which Italy could have boasted a European primacy.

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