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European Parliament adopts packaging and packaging waste regulation

Reglamento Envase Europa

On Wednesday, 24 April 2024, the European Parliament approved new measures to make packaging more sustainable and reduce packaging waste in the European Union.

The next step is for the Council to formally approve the resolution before it can enter into force and be formally published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU).

Here is a preview of some of the new features compared to the current directive:

  • The document will be formalized as a Regulation and not a Directive. This means that, once it is published, it will apply in a harmonized way throughout the EU, and thus provide for free movement of products within the internal market.
  • It applies to all materials, so its impact is relevant to all industries, given that all products require packaging for transport.
  • The Regulation includes packaging reduction targets (5% by 2030, 10% by 2035 and 15% by 2040) and specifically requires EU countries to reduce the amount of plastic packaging waste.
  • Manufacturers and importers will also have to ensure that the weight and volume of packaging is minimized, particularly by adhering to a maximum empty space ratio of 50% for grouped, transport and e-commerce packaging.
  • Certain single-use plastic packaging types will be banned starting on 1 January 2030. These include packaging for unprocessed fresh fruit and vegetables, individual portions (of e.g. condiments, sauces, creamer, sugar) in cafés and restaurants, accommodation miniature packaging for toiletry products and very lightweight plastic carrier bags (below 15 microns).
  • In food contact packaging, use is banned of so called persistent chemicals (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances or PFASs) above certain thresholds.
  • The Resolution will set specific targets for reuse and refill packaging
  • All packaging (except for lightweight wood, cork, textile, rubber, ceramic, porcelain and wax) will have to be recyclable.
  • It will encourage the use of recycled content by setting minimum recycling targets by weight of plastic packaging.
  • It will also set ambitious targets for separate collection such as 90% of single-use plastic and metal beverage containers (up to three litres) by 2029.

At AIMPLAS, we offer companies training and consultancy services to comply with these new legal requirements. We help you adapt your packaging to the new requirements, thus ensuring compliance with targets, whose aim is to drive the circular economy.