On 30 November, the European Commission published its proposal for the planned revision of the legal framework for packaging and packaging waste. As expected, the character of the corresponding legal act is to be changed from a directive to a regulation, meaning it would be directly applicable in the member states.
The three main objectives of the new regulation are:
- Waste prevention: The amount of packaging waste is to be reduced by 40% per member state and capita by 2040 (compared to 2018), among other things by avoiding unnecessary packaging (through bans, for example, on single-use packaging for fruit and vegetables) and increased reuse and refilling of packaging (through corresponding quotas for companies);
- Improved recycling: By 2030, all packaging should be recyclable in an economically viable manner (for example, by setting design criteria for companies); and
- Increased use of secondary raw materials: The demand for primary raw materials is to be significantly reduced and the market for secondary raw materials strengthened (for example, by imposing requirements for the use of recycled materials).
In a next step, the Commission’s proposal will be discussed in the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.