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Spanish Government Will Reduce Plastic Packaging By 50% From 2023

The Government opens a new battle front in the fight against climate change. And it does so in parallel with the processing of a waste law and another on packaging in order to replace them with others that are more environmentally friendly. Among the general objectives of the Royal Decree that the Executive is preparing is the reduction of 50% by 2025 of the commercialization of waters packaged in plastic bottles, of 80% for the packaging of beers that contain any type of plastic material and of 70 % for the packaging of soft drinks.

In the case of sales for home consumption, the targets are much less ambitious, 10% of beverage packaging in general by 2025 and 20% in 2030. Thus, it is expected that by the end of this year decade it has been achieved that the containers that are in the market are 100% recyclable.

Significant changes
Within this royal decree there are also limitations for the sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic containers, which will be prohibited in retail stores , ranging from neighborhood stores to supermarkets, as of 2023. The veto on packaging in the case of fruit and vegetables will apply to lots weighing less than one and a half kilograms. It is a prohibition similar to that contained in the French anti-waste law and that will enter into force in that country in 2022.

According to the information that has been transmitted from the ministry directed by Teresa Ribera, those plastic containers that contain food “with risk of deterioration when sold in bulk” will be out of the prohibition . The list of products will be established by the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition.

One of the great battles facing both this royal decree and the waste law that is being processed in the Congress of Deputies is the implementation of a system of deposit, return and return of containers, which some European Union countries have but that in Spain. From the plastics sector they maintain that the new measures will have a significant impact since, in addition to representing an important turn in the world of packaging in Spain, it also has a very limited period of time to reflect on where it is going and look for alternatives to adapt.

They also emphasize that the objectives are very high for such a short period of time. In this context, the cardboard packaging sector and the glass sector are gaining strength thanks to the low carbon footprint that they produce on average.

Rejection of the plastic tax
Previously and exclusively for elEconomista , Luis Cediel, spokesman for EsPl├ísticos and general director of the Spanish Association of Industrialists of Plastics (Anaip) , expressed the rejection of the sector to the plastic tax for “considering it ineffective to reduce the amount of waste and the landfill disposal, in addition to reducing and weakening the competitiveness of the entire Spanish industry and assuming a double tax on essential products, which already pay a green point for the correct management of their waste, and which will end up having an impact on consumers’ pockets ” .

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