< back to news overview

9 December 2022
European Commission presents proposal for revision of packaging and packaging waste directive

The proposed revision aims to prevent the production of packaging waste. In addition, the new rules aim to promote reuse or refilling of packaging, and to tackle clearly unnecessary packaging. Furthermore, the proposal aims to make packaging fully recyclable by 2030.

Packaging is needed to protect and transport goods. However, packaging is also a major environmental issue, according to the Commission. The increased use of packaging combined with low reuse and recycling rates hinder the development of a low-carbon circular economy.

The December 2020 Council conclusions welcomed the Commission’s intention to ensure that all packaging is reusable or recyclable in an economically viable way by 2030 and to reduce packaging, over-packaging and thus packaging waste. On 30 November 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

Content of the proposal

The proposed revision has three main objectives. First, to prevent the generation of packaging waste. Second, to encourage high-quality recycling (“closed-loop”). And finally, reduce the need for primary natural resources and establish a well-functioning market for secondary raw materials by increasing the use of recycled plastics in packaging through binding targets.

  • The main target is to reduce packaging waste by 15 per cent per member state per capita by 2040 compared to 2018. This would lead to an overall waste reduction in the EU of around 37 per cent compared to a scenario without revision of legislation. This will be done through both reuse and recycling;
  • To promote reuse or refill of packaging, companies will be required to offer a certain percentage of their products to consumers in reusable or refillable packaging, for example in takeaway drinks and meals or delivery in e-commerce. There will also be some standardization of packaging formats and clear labeling of reusable packaging;
  • To address clearly unnecessary packaging, certain forms of packaging will be banned, such as disposable food and beverage packaging for consumption in restaurants and cafes, single-use packaging for fruit and vegetables, miniature shampoo bottles and other miniature packaging in hotels;
  • Many measures aim to make packaging fully recyclable by 2030. This includes setting design criteria for packaging; introducing deposit systems for plastic bottles and aluminium cans; and clarifying which very limited types of packaging must be compostable so that consumers can throw them in bio-waste;
  • There will also be mandatory percentages of recycled material that producers must include in new plastic packaging. This will help make recycled plastic a valuable raw material.

The proposal will eliminate confusion over which packaging belongs in which recycling bin. Each packaging item will have a label indicating what the packaging is made of and in which waste stream it should end up. Waste containers will have the same labels. The same symbols will be used across the EU.

More information:

ECER dossier – Environment (in Dutch)
European Commission press release

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, read the original message here (in Dutch – the text above is translated by Circular Plastics and we take no responsibility for the translation)

Want to know more about the possibilities for your company? Then get in touch with us!


* required field