Sealed suitcases: the end of plastic film at European airports?

In the world of air travel, a small habit has become almost a ritual for many passengers: wrapping the suitcase with shrink-wrapped plastic. This practice, often seen as a security measure to protect luggage, is now threatened by a proposal from the European Parliament.

This initiative aims to prohibit the use of plastic films to wrap suitcases and luggage on board planes from various airlines. But what does this proposal mean for travelers and what are the possible implications?

Packing suitcases: a widespread practice

For many travelers, wrapping a suitcase with a protective layer of plastic wrap has become an essential habit. This practice is often seen as additional insurance to prevent theft, damage caused by impacts during the flight or even to discourage attempts to introduce illicit substances into luggage.

Many airports around the world offer approved packing services for travelers. At Orly and Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airports, for example, the company Bag Wrap offers this service for a fee of 13 euros per bag. However, in recent times, illegal packers have also emerged, offering their services for a fee.

Amendment to the Packaging Regulation

The future of this practice is now uncertain in Europe. The European Parliament recently made an amendment to the draft revision of the European Union Packaging Regulation (PPWR). This amendment proposes to ban the use of shrink-wrap plastic films to wrap suitcases and luggage from January 1, 2030.

This proposal is part of a set of measures foreseen in the draft revision of the European regulation on packaging. However, it should be noted that the ban is not yet final. Although voted on by the European Parliament, it still needs to be approved by the Council of the European Union, which represents member states and shares legislative power with Parliament.

Challenges for travelers

If this ban were to be implemented, it would have important implications for travelers. Firstly, those who considered packing as an additional security measure will need to rethink their approach. Travelers will have to rethink how they protect their luggage against possible theft or damage.

Furthermore, the ban could impact packaging services offered at airports. Companies offering these services will have to refocus their activities, while illegal packers may be forced to cease their profitable activities.

The balance between safety and the environment

One of the motivations behind the proposed ban is growing concern for the environment. Shrink plastic films used to wrap suitcases are generally made from non-recyclable plastic. Its massive use in airports contributes to the production of plastic waste, raising concerns about its environmental impact.

However, some travelers consider these plastic films an essential measure to protect their belongings. The potential ban therefore raises the delicate issue of balancing baggage security with reducing environmental impact.

The Future of Hanging Luggage Packaging

The potential ban on plastic film for wrapping suitcases at European airports is a complex issue that sparks heated debate. Travelers and packaging services companies are closely following developments as this proposal moves through the European Union legislative process.

The fundamental issue lies in finding a balance between protecting travelers’ assets and preserving the environment. The future of this widespread practice is now in the hands of European decision-makers, who will have to take into account traveler concerns and environmental imperatives to make an informed decision. In any case, plastic film for wrapping suitcases will never be seen in the same way by travelers again.

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