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Delay in EU packaging regulation

EU MEPs are struggling to reach agreement on waste prevention and reduction rules.


According to a Euractiv report based on testimony from several MEPs, the revision of EU packaging rules is being delayed. The complexity of the legislation is slowing down work on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), which aims to increase sustainability and reduce waste. The draft regulation, presented last November, sets higher targets for recycling and reuse. Negotiations are progressing very slowly, which was understandable given the different positions of the political groups, the often very technical aspects of the proposal and the sheer volume of articles, MEP Delara Burkhardt (Socialist Group) told Euractiv. It was therefore unlikely that the original timetable could be met. The European Parliament, however, was still aiming to be ready in autumn. However, the adoption has been postponed for the time being, as the dossier is complex and numerous interests are at stake, the Christian Democrat EPP negotiator, Massimiliano Salini, confirmed. According to Burkhardt, the most controversial issues were waste avoidance and reduction. In particular, reuse, the prohibition of certain disposable packaging formats and generally turning away from the current throwaway model for disposable packaging were still highly controversial. According to Salini, the same applies to the definition of recycled packaging, the requirements for the recycled content of plastic packaging and the definition of compostable packaging. The Parliament's rapporteur, Belgian Renew MEP Frédérique Ries, had tried to clarify some of the issues in a series of draft amendments to the text. These included, for example, the deletion of the term "refilling" from the targets for reuse and refilling. At the same time, the draft increased the reuse targets for non-alcoholic beverage packaging and deleted all reuse targets for to-go packaging, including those for cold and hot beverages. It is expected that the Parliament will agree on its negotiating position by the end of the year and then swiftly reach a final agreement with EU states so that the regulation can be rubber-stamped before the European elections in June 2024.

  • (Sept. 26, 2023)
  • Photo: Pixelio, Siepmann

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