27 Apr 2021

A proposal for a revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive by the end of the year?

The review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) will be a major milestone this year. This revision represents a key opportunity to further scale up the circularity of the EU economy. The announced ambitious policy goals must be supported by robust legislation, providing a future-proof regulatory framework driving investment in innovation and ensuring stronger enforcement and harmonization across the EU.

The ambitious agenda of the European Green Deal and implementation of the new Circular Economy Action Plan will keep the European Commission busy this year. The indicative timeline for the adoption of the PPWD proposal is very tight as it is expected by the end of 2021.

At EUROPEN, we believe that rushed decision-making processes tend to result in insufficiently defined regulatory measures requiring further clarification through additional provisions. These are often delayed well-beyond the official deadlines set to ensure their timely and harmonised transposition across the EU. The Single-Use Plastics Directive and severe delays with the adoption of its implementing acts and guidelines set a concerning precedent in this regard.

A lot is at stake and the review of this Directive is too important to fail. Given the complexity of the measures considered as part of the review, a thorough and evidence-based impact assessment is a must. It is also essential that the review process is done in a transparent manner through an open and regular dialogue with all stakeholders. In a recent joint statement, adopted with organisations from the entire packaging value chain, EUROPEN called on the European Commission to dedicate appropriate time and resources to make this review a success.


  • The review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive started in 2020, with a consultation on the roadmap held from June to August, and a public consultation from September to January 2021.
  • A series of thematic stakeholder workshops, organized by the European Commission’s consultant EUNOMIA, was initially expected to take place in the first half of 2021. A first workshop focused on waste prevention took place at the of January.


  • June 2021: The European Commission will not organise thematic workshops in the weeks to come to gather input from stakeholders on matters that were not yet discussed (e.g. reuse and recycling), but is planning to host a series of webinars in the second half of June, to present the draft outcomes of the impact assessment.
  • Q4 2021: Expected adoption of the Commission’s proposal, as per the current timeline.

Stay tuned for more updates and insights on the PPWD review!

EUROPEN members: Do not hesitate to visit the dedicated members’ area of our website here to know more about our work on the PPWD.