European Packaging Directive

July 21st, 2021

As part of its ongoing impact assessment study on the revision of the European Packaging Directive, the consultancy Eunomia held six workshops in June to discuss the interim results and proposed recommendations with selected stakeholders.

Landbell Group was present at the workshops and took away the following main findings:

  • Overarching measures: According to the study’s authors, green public procurement can play a big role in promoting sustainable packaging. Regarding hazardous substances in packaging, the authors propose updating the definition of “hazardous” and introducing both additional reporting requirements and further restrictions. In addition, reinforced market surveillance is also proposed to harmonise EPR reporting requirements, creating a common data repository.
  • Waste prevention: To reduce excess, too heavy or too large, packaging, the study suggests introducing a new definition of “over-packaging” as well as measures such as top-down reduction targets for member states, a top-runner approach and void space threshold limits.
  • Reusable packaging: Among the proposed measures for improving reusability are specific reuse targets for member states, standardisation of reusable packaging and harmonised labelling.
  • Recyclability: Among the proposed measures for improving packaging recyclability are updating the packaging essential requirements, harmonising the criteria for EPR fee modulation, and harmonised labelling for recyclable packaging.
  • Recycled content: Increasing the use of recyclates is one of the main goals of the Circular Economy Action Plan. Besides setting and revising definitions and measurement methodologies, Eunomia proposes to introduce specific recycled content targets for packaging, including related mandatory reporting.
  • Compostable packaging: The demand for bio-based and compostable packaging is expected to grow by 20% over the next five years. To deal with the growing problem of cross-contamination of recycling streams, several policy options are proposed, including updating the EN13432 standard, imposing criteria for the put-on-market of compostable packaging, and introducing harmonised labelling or watermarking.

The European Commission’s legislative proposal is expected to be published at the end of 2021 or in the first quarter of 2022.

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