10 Jul 2023

Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, where do we stand?

One draft report, three draft opinions, a total of 4889 amendments (yes, we read them all!) and countless versions of compromise amendments.

An intense parliamentary activity is taking place around the proposal for a Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) since the file was assigned to the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI). The Committees on Internal Market and Industry (IMCO and ITRE) led a fierce battle over shared competences and the Agriculture Committee (AGRI) requested an opinion on the file. Now that all amendments have been tabled, active negotiations are taking place at technical and political levels to find an agreement on the compromise amendments and try to keep pace with a challenging timeline.

On the Council side, the Swedish Presidency has tried, as much as possible, to reconcile what seem to be rather distant positions of the EU27, before handing over the file to Spain who, amidst uncertainty for the upcoming national elections on 23 July, has taken over the Presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 July.

In addition to having formally presented its proposal in November last year, the Commission is also playing an active role in the ongoing discussions and has requested the Joint Research Centre (JRC) to conduct two studies in support of the co-decision process: one looking at the possible aggregation of the packaging categories listed in Annex II, table 1, of the proposal (Categories and Parameters for assessment of recyclability of packaging), and the other one assessing the feasibility of reuse targets in the HORECA sector.

As we prepare for the summer recess, the one-million-euro question remains: will co-legislators manage to finalise their negotiations in time before the European elections? Only time will tell. Despite rumors on a possible delay, the votes on the draft opinions of the IMCO and ITRE Committees are still scheduled for before the summer break, while the AGRI Committee is due to vote on its opinion at the end of August, and the vote in ENVI should take place in September. Barring any changes, the Council is expected to adopt its general approach in December to allow the start of interinstitutional negotiations as soon as possible.

Reinvigorated by the summer holidays, EUROPEN will continue advocating for the adoption of an ambitious but implementable legislative framework which, beyond setting a clear direction of travel for the industry, puts packaging sustainability and the preservation of its key functionalities at its centre.

What did you miss?

What’s next?

  • 14 July 2023: Meeting of the Council Working Party on the Environment, held under the Spanish Presidency
  • 18 July 2023: Expected vote on draft IMCO opinion on PPWR
  • 19 July 2023: Expected vote on draft ITRE and AGRI opinion on PPWR
  • 20 September 2023: Expected vote on draft ENVI report on PPWR