Members' Research Service By / March 31, 2023

Revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive [EU Legislation in Progress]

Most goods require packaging at several stages of their product life. Packaging is defined in the current Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD – Directive 94/62/EC) as ‘products made of any materials of any nature to be used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods, from raw materials to processed goods, from the producer to the user or the consumer’.

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Written by Guillaune Ragonnaud (1st edition).

Most goods require packaging at several stages of their product life. Today, the diversity of packaging items and materials is considerable. Between 2009 and 2020, the total mass of packaging waste generated in the EU rose by 20 %. The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD – Directive 94/62/EC) lays down measures to prevent the production of packaging waste, and to promote reuse of packaging and recycling and other forms of recovering packaging waste. It also sets out the requirements that all packaging placed on the EU market must meet. These provisions are designed to reduce the disposal of packaging waste and to promote a more circular economy.

As part of the European Green Deal and the new circular economy action plan, the Commission put forward a revision of the PPWD in November 2022. The initiative’s objective is to ensure that all packaging is reusable or recyclable in an economically feasible way by 2030. The aim is to reinforce the essential requirements for packaging to ensure its reuse and recycling, boost the uptake of recycled content, and improve the requirements’ enforceability. Measures are also envisaged to tackle over-packaging and reduce packaging waste.

The proposal is now in the hands of the co-legislators. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) is responsible for the file.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on packaging and packaging waste, amending Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 and Directive (EU) 2019/904, and repealing Directive 94/62/EC
Committee responsible:Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)COM(2022) 677
Rapporteurs:Frédérique Ries (Renew, Belgium)
Massimiliano Salini (EPP, Italy)
Shadow rapporteurs:Delara Burkhardt (S&D, Germany)
Grace O’Sullivan (Greens/EFA, Ireland)
Silvia Sardone (ID, Italy)
Pietro Fiocchi (ECR, Italy)
João Pimenta Lopes (The Left, Portugal)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council on equal footing
– formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Publication of draft report
Recycling and recovery rates of packaging waste in the EU (%)

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