The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
The use of single-use plastics in packaging has grown significantly in the last decades, and with it, the pollution of our environment. There is an urgent need to improve the sustainability of our food systems, which includes also the development of more sustainable food packaging. The objective of this study is to identify and examine successful examples and approaches to food packaging in the EU and beyond, considering consumer safety, environmental, economic, social, legal and food waste reduction considerations.
The analysis is based on the principles of a circular economy (reduce-reuse-recycle) and its scope is limited to business-to-consumer operations. Through a careful examination of legislative and sectoral trends at the European and national levels, an extensive literature review and interviews conducted with experts, 19 successful examples of sustainable food packaging have been identified and divided into 5 categories: Prevention/reduction of (over)packaging, Reuse, Recycled Content, Alternative Materials and Active/Intelligent Packaging. Furthermore, the analysis has resulted in the identification of several recommendations for the various actors to foster more sustainable food packaging.
Overall, the priority should be given to measures and actions reducing (over)packaging and packaging waste, further supporting reusable packaging by setting binding reuse targets at EU level and other economic instruments and promoting the uptake of recycled, renewable and innovative materials that achieve genuine environmental benefits and avoid burden shifts.
Recycling food packaging & food waste in plastics revolution