New packaging regulation: what can we expect?

November 23rd, 2022

The European Commission’s planned revision of the EU’s regulatory framework for packaging is taking shape.

According to a recent, unofficial draft, the Commission plans – as expected – to implement the new rules as a regulation rather than a directive, meaning they would be directly applicable in all member states ensuring a maximum degree of harmonisation.

Also, in terms of content, there are many changes largely focusing on packaging waste reduction and packaging design, such as:

  • mandatory targets for member states to reduce packaging waste: 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035 and 15% by 2040 (compared to 2018)
  • targets to reduce packaging volume (weight, volume, number of layers)
  • further bans on certain packaging formats, e.g. certain single-use or micro-packaging
  • mandatory targets for the reuse and refill of certain packaging
  • mandatory minimum recycled content
  • modulation of fees based on recyclability performance levels
  • mandatory labeling of packaging, e.g. on material composition
  • possibility for member states to make the entrustment of a producer responsibility organisation mandatory, and
  • mandatory body to coordinate producer responsibility organisations

Amendments to the regulation are still possible. The Commission’s official legislative proposal is expected for 30th November. This will be followed by discussions in the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

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