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SVI 22. March 2024 0 Comments

The Council of the EU announced that it had reached a provisional agreement with the representatives of the European Parliament. However, the regulation is not yet a done deal.

Following the agreement in the trilogue, the vote in the EU institutions is actually just a formality. This is one of the many unwritten rules in the European legislative process, but this time it is different with the Packaging Ordinance. The blockade of the PPWR, which was largely initiated by Italy and is also supported by Germany, is still under discussion. Germany would then have to abstain in the vote, which would be tantamount to a negative vote. If more EU members side with the blockers in the final vote, the EU packaging regulation could still fail – despite the agreement reached at .

Sustainability requirements and recycled content in packaging

The regulation requires that all packaging is recyclable and that the presence of substances of concern is reduced to a minimum. It also sets out requirements for the harmonization of labelling in order to improve consumer information. The regulation also sets targets for the minimum proportion of recycled materials in plastic packaging to be achieved by 2030 and 2040.

The regulation also restricts the placing on the market of food contact packaging that contains perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) above certain threshold values.

Reuse and refilling

The PPWR is to set new binding reuse targets for 2030 and indicative targets for 2040, which will vary depending on the type of packaging. The Regulation also provides for a derogation for Member States that are unable to meet the reuse targets under certain conditions. Small companies are to be exempted from meeting these targets. In addition, economic operators should be able to achieve the goals together.

The regulation also obliges takeaway establishments to offer their customers the option of bringing their own containers and stipulates that 10 percent of products must be offered in packaging that is suitable for reuse by 2030.

Deposit return systems (DRS)

The PPWR will oblige member states to ensure that at least 90 percent of single-use plastic bottles and metal beverage containers are collected separately every year by 2029. To achieve this goal, they must set up deposit systems (DRS) for this packaging, for which certain minimum requirements apply. However, systems that achieve the 90 percent target by 2029 and that were set up before the regulation came into force are exempt from this. There will also be a derogation for member states that achieve a separate collection rate of over 80 percent in 2026 and submit an implementation plan with a strategy to achieve the overarching target of 90 percent separate collection.

Restrictions for certain packaging formats

The PPWR aims to restrict certain packaging formats, including single-use plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables, for food and drink, condiments and sauces in the HORECA sector, for small cosmetics and toiletries used in the hospitality sector and for very lightweight plastic bags.