Provisional Agreement on PPWR

 This post is a summary of a press release on 4th March 2024 on  the Council of the European union website regarding the provisional agreement on a regulation concerning packaging and packaging waste i.e. the PPWR.

The Council presidency and the European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on a regulation concerning packaging and packaging waste. The aim is to address the growing issue of packaging waste in the EU, promote a circular economy, and harmonize packaging standards.


The packaging sector is economically significant in the EU but poses environmental challenges due to increasing waste generation. The current EU directive on packaging and packaging waste, dating back to 1994, has not been effective in curbing these impacts. The new regulation aims to address these shortcomings, aligning with broader EU goals of promoting a circular economy and sustainability.

Main Elements of the Agreement

Sustainability Requirements and Recycled Content

– The agreement maintains sustainability requirements for packaging, including recyclability and restrictions on harmful substances.

– It sets targets for minimum recycled content in plastic packaging* for 2030 and 2040. (*There are certain exemptions for compostable plastic packaging)

– Restrictions on harmful substances like per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) are introduced.

– Measures to reduce unnecessary packaging are implemented, such as setting maximum empty space ratios and minimizing packaging weight and volume.

Re-use Targets and Re-fill Obligations

– Binding re-use targets for 2030 and indicative targets for 2040 are established.

– Conditions for exemption from re-use targets are outlined. Cardboard packaging is also generally exempted from those requirements.

– Micro-enterprises are exempted from these targets, and the formation of distributor pools is allowed.

– Take-away businesses are required to offer re-fill options for beverages, with a target of 10% of products in re-usable packaging formats by 2030.

 Deposit Return Systems (DRS)

– Member states are mandated to ensure separate collection of single-use plastic bottles and metal beverage containers, with a target of 90% by 2029.

– Exemptions are provided for member states achieving a separate collection rate of above 80% in 2026.

 Restrictions on Certain Packaging Formats

– Restrictions are imposed on various single-use plastic packaging formats, including fruit and vegetable packaging, condiments, sauces in the HORECA sector, small cosmetic products, and lightweight plastic bags.

 Next Steps

The provisional agreement will be presented to the member states’ representatives and the Parliament’s environment committee for endorsement. If approved, the regulation will undergo formal adoption by both institutions before coming into force, aiming to be applied 18 months after adoption.

Read the full text here

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