When U.N. negotiations over a global agreement on plastic waste convene for a second session this spring, the European Union will bring evidence that it practices what it preaches.
In November, the European Commission proposed sweeping packaging regulations that would require companies selling products in E.U. countries to make their packaging easier to reuse, recycle or in some cases compost. Takeaway food, hot and cold drinks, wine and other alcohol would have to be provided at least partly in reusable packaging by 2030, and the rules would limit unnecessary empty space in packaging. The E.U.'s overall goal: to reduce packaging waste by 5% by 2030, compared with 2018 levels, and by 15% by 2040.