According to official sources, the Royal Decree on packaging and waste that the Government is working on, and that the Ministry for the Ecological Transition is about to make public, will ban the sale of fruits and vegetables in plastic containers in retail businesses in Spain starting 2023.
The ban on plastic packaging will apply to fruit and vegetable products weighing less than one and a half kilograms. This prohibition is similar to that contained in the French anti-waste law that will enter into force in that country in 2022. The Spanish Executive seeks to combat the overuse of packaging, stated a spokeswoman for the ministry. The same sources justified the veto by stating that plastic pollution has already exceeded all limits.
According to the information available, the ban won’t apply to food that is at risk of deterioration when sold in bulk. The Spanish Agency will establish the list of products for Food Safety and Nutrition.
One of the goals of the royal decree is to reduce the commercialization of plastic bottles for beverages by 50% by 2030, according to the information that the main actors in the sector have received from the Government. By the end of this decade, 100% of the containers on the market should be recyclable.
The ministry also aims to promote reusable packagings, such as the harder plastic or glass bottles that can be used repeatedly.
One of the greatest challenges of this royal decree and the waste law that is being processed in the Congress of Deputies is the implementation of a system of deposit and return of containers, which is already implemented in some countries of the European Union, but is a matter of dispute between some environmental organizations in Spain –which defend this model– and Ecoembes –the company in charge of managing the majority of domestic packaging in the country.