Climate warning
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Climate warning

At centre of lobbying blitz against EU packaging waste laws

McDonald's is the leader of a campaign against new laws to reduce packaging waste in the EU, in one of the largest-scale lobbying effort ever witnessed in the European Parliament. The law proposes a ban on single-use packaging in restaurants and cafes by 2030, and an increase in reusables for takeaway food to 10 % by 2030, aiming to tackle growth in packaging waste and single-use plastic, which is expected to double in Europe by 2040.
Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, deputy policy manager for circular economy at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), described the new packaging and packaging waste law as the "most lobbied on file that many people in the parliament have witnessed." Industry members held over 290 official meetings with MEPs on the topic between the beginning of 2022 and early April, compared to just 21 meetings held by NGOs. Fast food giants and packaging firms are opposed to the proposed EU law because it would likely require significant investment and infrastructure upgrades from these companies, as well as shifts in their packaging branding and marketing.
Since June 2022, McDonald's and other industry groups have funded three studies, launched two websites, and sponsored multiple articles attacking the legislation on the dubious grounds that it would undermine Europe's net zero ambitions. McDonald's funded an 'independent' study which concluded that proposed EU targets for packaging reuse could significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions — the findings of which have been widely questioned.
But scientists, campaigners and the UN believe that championing reuse in various forms is the best way to tackle the environmental cost of single-use packaging, which is made from fossil fuels, wood pulp, and other raw materials. Almost 10 % of oil and gas in the EU is used to produce plastics, including for packaging, and almost half of the paper used in the EU is used for packaging.
Policies encouraging reuse will require "systemic change" from these companies, said Justine Maillot from the advocacy organisation Rethink Plastics Alliance. "The current system works really well for them, because they get to keep using single-use packaging … it's still very profitable for them," she said.
The European Parliament is expected to vote on the law in the next 12 months.

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  • Komu Daniel

    56 w

    very sad

    • Tabitha Kimani

      56 w

      Serves to show the extent of actions this polluters are ready to take to continue making super profits. This should not be condoned.

      • We Don't Have Time

        56 w

        Dear Jacqueline Marchelli Thank you for getting your climate warning to level 2! We have reached out to McDonald's and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! /Adam We Don't Have Time

        • Kevin

          56 w

          Raising alarms

          • Sarah Chabane

            56 w

            Not too surprising

            • Hilda Wangui

              56 w

              Heartbreaking a great action is needed for a concern of the planet

              • Joseph Githinji

                56 w

                This is disturbing.

                • Munene Mugambi

                  56 w

                  This is very concerning

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