Cefic’s Reaction to the European Parliament Vote on New EU Rules for Packaging and Packaging Waste

Cefic's Reaction to the European Parliament Vote on New EU Rules for Packaging and Packaging Waste

On November 22, 2023, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in plenary on their position on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).

Annick Meerschman, Cefic Director Innovation reacted to the vote, underlining:

“We hoped for the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation to create a framework to reduce and turn waste into an asset, particularly by adopting ambitious recycled content targets. Unfortunately, the report voted in plenary falls short of achieving this goal”.

The report adopted in plenary falls short of providing ambitious targets for recycled content. Specifically, for contact-sensitive applications, the Parliament reduced the targets originally proposed by the Commission. Ambitious recycled content targets are needed to drive further investments in both mechanical and chemical recycling, as complementary solutions, in the transition to a sustainable circular economy.

Secondly, the Parliament did not provide the necessary clarification on the role of bio-based feedstock complementary to recycled content, needed to incentivize the uptake of these feedstocks in packaging. However, Cefic welcomes the reference to the European Commission to propose appropriate legislative measures for establishing bio-based targets.

Finally, Cefic regrets the European Parliament’s intention to create a regulatory process under the PPWR for regulating substances for chemical safety reasons in parallel to the existing REACH restriction process, which addresses already unacceptable risks of chemicals to human health and the environment. This creates legal uncertainty, ignores well established regulatory processes, and sidelines the role of the European Chemicals Agency. It is a step back on the “one substance one assessment” objective of the Chemicals Strategy For Sustainability (CSS). Requirements on substances of concern (SoCs) under PPWR should only apply to substances that impede the recyclability and reusability of packaging or packaging materials when their detection in products is feasible.