What do you think of the waste law?

From accounting for packaging in sorting centers in supermarkets to introducing a deposit on drinks, the Waste Act will have an impact on the daily life of the entire population in Luxembourg.

And anyone who says change is obviously saying reactions. Here is a brief overview of the positions of the different actors affected by this package of five texts based on government strategies dedicated to waste prevention and the circular economy.

The legislative package

“The Ecological Movement supports the Ministry’s approach, which in some provisions goes beyond the requirements of the EU,” the Ecological Movement announced in a press release.

Conversely, CLC and FLAD regret this exaggeration and would have preferred a simple implementation of the European directives. “Even at coalition level, we have heard criticism and doubts about the effectiveness of the measures or in relation to the risk of a loss of purchasing power,” emphasizes René Grosbusch, President of the 90 percent interest group for the food trade in Luxembourg.

For the draft law’s rapporteur, François Benoy (Déi Gréng), “we are taking an important step from the throwaway society to the circular economy”.

recycling centers in the shop

“The in-store waste collection center isn’t a bad idea per se,” argues Jean Feyereisen, ULC’s director of publications. “The idea that it would increase costs is likely, but it hasn’t been proven.”

The CLC, for its part, is more critical and even speaks of “ecological and economic inefficiency”. Its deputy director Claude Bizjak questions the willingness of customers to bring back to the store packaging that they can throw in a Valorlux bag at home thanks to the door-to-door collection system.

“It’s a parallel system to Valorlux, in which I see no real point,” responds Claude Turping, Managing Director of Valorlux. Although the system has been tested at Cactus d’Howald for years, the “complicated” manager himself admits: “We believe that the quality of the sorting carried out manually by individuals is not optimal and that machines are better suited for this, for example different packaging materials such as to distinguish steel from aluminium”. Claude Turping, on the other hand, supports the idea of ​​providing customers with containers so that, once they leave the checkout, they can separate excess packaging and confirms consumer demand for this device.

Ban on plastic packaging around fruit and vegetables sold under 1.5kg

The CLC fears the cessation of sales of certain fruit and vegetables in Luxembourg, where local production accounts for only 5% of the products sold. As a result, retailers would have to unpack fruit and vegetables in the warehouse to display them loose, creating de facto waste.

“For some products there is currently no other packaging solution,” emphasizes Jean Feyereisen from the ULC.

For his part, François Benoy insists that the measure only affects uncut fruit and vegetables, meaning consumers can still buy half a watermelon wrapped in plastic, for example.

Fruit and vegetables that are sold cut remain protected in plastic packaging, so the packaging ban is limited to products that have not been post-processed.

(Photo: European Union)

beverage deposit

For the CLC, the introduction of a deposit on beverage packaging represents an obstacle to the free movement of goods and services and requires the re-labelling of all references sold in Luxembourg.

“I don’t think a locker in Luxembourg is a viable project,” agrees Jean Feyereisen of the ULC. This suggests an alliance with Belgium or even Germany to achieve critical mass. “Cleaning, washing and drying the bottles mobilizes resources and if Luxembourg continues to face water supply problems like we have seen in recent years, I am concerned that harnessing this resource will require significant investment from industry to address it to be able to recycle this water is used for cleaning purposes.

The guide is super interesting, but I have doubts about its application since 90% of the products consumed in the Grand Duchy are imported from Belgium.

Claude Turping, Managing Director, Valorlux

The same story at Valorlux, where Claude Turping points out that “the deposit is super interesting, but I have doubts about its application in Luxembourg without transferring it to another system since 90% of the products consumed in the Grand Duchy are imported from Belgium “.

François Benoy specifies that the legal text voted on Wednesday provides for “creating the legal basis for the introduction of a deposit”, but that the device will come into force after the publication of a grand-ducal regulation that will establish the modalities of implementation.

“The deposit system alone is not effective because it leads the consumer to believe that a given packaging is perfectly recyclable, which is not the case for many materials (plastic, composite materials),” emphasizes the environmental organization Movement, which works to promote an environmentally friendly organization Tax on single-use beverage containers.

End of free packaging

“The packaging is already billed,” says Jean Feyereisen, for whom the public has already adjusted to earlier developments such as reusable bags and the billing of sachets in certain shops.

The legislative package provides for a fee to be charged for disposable bags if the consumer does not bring their own. “The measure only affects bags and no packaging,” stresses François Benoy, who believes that “the sector has enough time to work with state actors to create reusable alternatives, many of which are already and already available.

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