Are you ready for the revised Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation?

May 17, 2024

Food industry stakeholders are urged to pay close attention to the newly proposed rule under the revised Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), which was initially proposed in 2022 and agreed upon in April 2024. This regulation serves as a crucial tool in addressing packaging waste, which has increased from 66 million tonnes in 2009 to 84 million tonnes in 2021.

Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation

Updates to the Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation

On April 24, 2024, the European Parliament made a significant advancement towards environmental sustainability by establishing various targets and rigorous guidelines to foster a circular economy. Notably, the rules provisionally agreed by the Council include the following changes, among others:

  • Reduction targets for packaging waste (in particular plastic) with goals set at 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035, and 15% by 2040
  • To reduce unnecessary packaging, a maximum empty space ratio of 50% is set for grouped, transport and e-commerce packaging. Manufacturers and importers will also have to ensure that the weight and volume of packaging are minimised
  • To curb the use of single-use plastics and unnecessary packaging, specific types will be banned by 2030. These include packaging for fresh fruits and vegetables, single-use condiment portions, and very lightweight plastic carrier bags
  • Food contact packaging shall not be placed on the market if it contains per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in a concentration of or above the established threshold. For example, 25 ppb for any PFAS as measured with targeted PFAS analysis and 50 ppm for PFASs (polymeric PFAS included); if total fluorine exceeds 50 mg /kg the manufacturer, importer or downstream user shall upon request provide to the enforcement authorities a proof for the fluorine measured as content of either PFAS or non-PFAS.
  • Adoption of reusable packaging solutions, setting targets for beverages and transport packaging. It also mandates that distributors offer consumers the option of using their own containers for takeaway food and beverages
  • All packaging, except for specific materials, will be required to meet strict recyclability criteria
  • By 2029, a target of 90% collection for single-use plastic and metal beverage containers will be implemented

Before these rules can be implemented, they require formal approval from the European Council. The Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) has the potential to be enforced as early as 2025. Additionally, an 18-month transitional period has been proposed to facilitate a smooth transition.

How Leatherhead can help

At Leatherhead Food Research our scientific and regulatory affairs team can support in understanding the new rules proposed by the European Parliament, as well as globally. Please contact us at [email protected] to find out how we can support you.


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