The bills which have been two years in the making mark an important step in the grand duchy’s transition towards a circular economy. Their main priority is the prevention of waste, by reusing materials or avoiding unnecessary accumulation.
Supermarket customers for example will be incentivised to choose reusable packaging such as eco-bags for fruit and vegetables by having an additional price added to products that are single wrapped in single-use plastic for example. Fruit and vegetables under 1.5kg will no longer be allowed to have plastic packaging.
Cosmetics containing microplastics will be banned from the market. Also banned are certain single-use plastic products such as cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws and food containers.
Supermarkets with a surface larger than 400m2–thus 136 businesses–will have to offer a space for used package collection from 1 January 2023. Supermarkets with a surface larger than 1,500m2–of which there are 45 such businesses in Luxembourg–will have to follow suit one year later. This would cost businesses an estimated €12m in additional labour.
The CLC, Luxembourg’s federation for commerce, has argued that Valorlux–the grand duchy’s recyclable waste collection company–already undertakes this work: “[Valorlux] is the commercial sector’s solution to its obligation to take back and recycle packaging placed on the market. The current legislative proposal is therefore clearly redundant with respect to the Valorlux system and will not add any ecological value.”