Industry News

EU announces a new PPWR deal

by | Mar 7, 2024

The new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposal deal is currently under discussion between the European Parliament and Council presidency, who recently announced that they have made a provisional political agreement. This agreement covers a variety of new regulations and rules which have been decided upon with the aim of reducing as much plastic waste as possible.

There are several things which have been mentioned by these new rules and these include, mandating a deposit return scheme, exempting compostable packaging from minimum recycled content targets, enabling consumers to purchase takeaway food and drinks in reusable packaging for no extra cost, and other similar rules. At the moment these rules and this deal have not been finalised, as it is still awaiting formal adoption by both the Parliament and Council. In order for this agreement to move past the provisional stage, the proposal must be submitted to the Committee of Permanent Representatives.

The rules that this agreement is looking to implement fall into four categories. These are: recycled content, downsizing and safety, then, reuse and refill, plus, deposit return systems, and finally, restricting single-use plastics.

The sustainability rules that were already in place for packaging on the EU market and the main aims that were proposed by the Commission, have been maintained within this agreement. The rules to stay in place, include the ones that concern minimum recycled content in plastic packaging by 2030 and 2040. The exemptions from this rule and this aim, include compostable packaging and any packaging that has plastic components which make up less than 5% of the pack’s total weight. Along with other regulations to prevent issues such as too much empty space within packaging or to prevent excessive use of certain kinds of materials being used too far up the EU market, the Commission has been asked to review these rules and regulations after they have been in effect for a while. The Commission has been asked to review the technological development of biobased plastic packaging three years after the regulations have been put in place. This will be done with the aim of determining whether biobased content will be able to be included in plastic packaging.

There have been new rules created concerning reuse and refill practices, as new reuse targets for 2030 have been created and there have been suggestions that the targets for 2040 will build off of the ones set out for 2030. The new reuse and refill rules have been created around packaging for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, transport and sales packaging and grouped packaging. Certain items such as wine, milk, dangerous goods or large-scale equipment have been exempted from these rules. It has also been stated that takeaway businesses must now allow customers to bring their own containers, without charging them for this. On top of this, by 2030 10% of takeaway products must be sold in reusable packaging formats.

The two final rules to be put in place are the deposit return systems, which aim to collect about 90% of single-use plastic bottles and metal beverage containers annually. Finally, the rule which restricts single-use plastics will be enforced for most products, such as, food and beverages, condiments, small cosmetics and toiletry products and lightweight plastics bags, among other things.

All of the rules and regulations that have been put in place have all been applied with the intention of reducing plastic waste and moving towards a more sustainable future.

The next steps with this proposal will occur if the deal is approved by the Committee of Permanent Representatives and then it will be passed to lawyer-linguistics, who will revise it, before it is formally adopted. Once it has been adopted, it will be published in the EU’s Official Journal and will then enter into force, eighteen months after its official date of entry.

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