Limiting the use of plastics in packaging will cost food and beverage companies, as well as the drugstore and home hygiene industry - the most affected by the measure - 2,000 million euros according to the first estimates of the sector, which commissioned Tragsatec with a study to determine the costs. The Ministry for the Ecological Transition has already started the public consultation for the Royal Decree on packaging and waste, which transposes the last of the pending directives of the 2018 European circular economy package.
The Executive has already announced an indirect 0.45 euro tax for each kilogram of single-use plastic containers, which will make up a total of approximately 724 million euros. However, this number may rise as the 0.45 euros is for from the 0.80 euros demanded by Brussels. Thus, the tax rate might be increased before the final approval.
This decree also places limitations on the sale of fruit and vegetables in plastic containers, which will be prohibited in retail trade from 2023.
Both the food industry and plastic manufacturers have highlighted the lack of a substitute material that can guarantee food safety, food preservation, and helps avoid food waste, as plastics do. They also stated that health authorities have detected an increase in health alerts as a result of the substitution of plastics for other materials.
Esplasticos, which brings together the different agents that are part of the plastics sector in Spain, stated that it welcomes all initiatives aimed at implementing the circular economy, caring for the environment, and achieving an increasingly sustainable industry.
They ask that the legal text be modified because some measures are experienced as discriminatory, disproportionate, and hinder the implementation of the Circular Economy. According to them, the sector is focused on manufacturing more recyclable products and innovating in technologically cutting-edge recycling processes.