Provisional agreement reached on the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation

A provisional agreement has been reached on the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).  

The Regulation will replace the existing Directive and since it was leaked in November 2022, has been debated heavily.

The ‘trilogue’ stage, where the European Parliament and Council agree on the regulation’s final wording, was completed on 4 March 2024. This means it must now go through more parliamentary procedures to be formally approved before passing, which is expected to happen in the next few weeks. 

What are the provisional agreements? 

The regulation contains ambitious targets and proposals, which the European Parliament states will make ‘packaging used in the EU safer and more sustainable’.  

Specific targets include:  

  • An agreement to reduce packaging placed on the market by 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035 and 15% by 2040. These apply to all EU member states and will specifically target plastic packaging waste.  
  • A ban on specific single-use plastic packaging formats such as packaging around fresh vegetables and fruit, around condiments used in the dine-in hospitality sector, and miniature cosmetic bottles used in hotels.  
  • It was also agreed that specific reuse targets would be set for packaging around beverages – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – of at least 10% by 2030, with the same applying to take-away food in the food service sector.  
  • Recyclability and recycled content targets were also agreed. For instance, all packaging placed on the EU market must be recyclable by 2030, although it is unclear currently on what criteria recyclability will be based on.  

Whilst there is currently no indication that the UK will follow suit, businesses trading in the EU will have to ensure compliance and navigate the new rules carefully. Once the PPWR has been formally voted through we can expect more details and guidance on the regulatory specifics to emerge. 

If you're an Ecosurety member and would like to find out more about the impacts of packaging EPR, visit our Ecosurety Hub knowledge articles for more information.

Written by Louisa Goodfellow Published 14/03/2024 Topics Sustainability
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