15 Dec 2023

EU packaging rules that work: Joint Statement on Single Market - Packaging & Packaging Waste (PPWR)

The success of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) will be measured against its ability to create a workable legislative framework. This means delivering an ambitious yet viable EU packaging law , which sets the direction of travel for packaging manufacturers and users to achieve Europe ‘s sustainability goals while preserving packaging ’s key role in protecting consumers, products and the viability of Europe’s supply chains.

The first step is ensuring that the environmental objectives of the PPWR are balanced with the principles of a unified European market, in which packaging and packaged goods can move freely across EU borders Only with a stronger, more effective Single Market can Europe hope to capture the levels of innovation and investment needed to take the lead in sustainable packaging developed at scale.

PPWR must uphold Single Market principles not undermine them. We urgently need one Circular Economy in Europe.

Secondly, the PPWR will be judged against its ability to ensure the functioning of all value chains that depend on packaging for the safe and efficient distribution of products in a circular economy. Virtually all goods circulating within the EU are packaged. Packaging is an integral part of a supply chain. The unavailability of suitable packaging, for instance due to disproportionate restrictions or unworkable conditions for market access, at EU or national level, can endanger the resilience of Europe’s supply chains.

The European Parliament’s negotiating position adopted last month is a step towards eliminating arbitrary measures which were not anchored in thorough impact assessment and ensuring a gradual approach to packaging waste prevention and minimisation. Yet serious concerns remain as to the ability of the Regulation to deliver on its intended goal of greater harmonisation of packaging sustainability rules across the EU.

In recent years, our industries have witnessed an increase in national trade barriers in the form of divergent packaging requirements imposed by several Member States. We now face the greater risk that new trade barriers will be legitimise d by the Regulation itself. I f Member States are allowed to introduce new national sustainability and information requirements and if the right to market goods is restricted to national market s rather than the EU as a whole, products that comply with PPWR could be denied access to the market of a given Member State

Our industries associations remain fully supportive of a timely adoption of an ambitious and implementable EU packaging Regulation However, a fragmented Single Market will stop us from leading the transformation to a more sustainable economy. We urge EU Member State s to align with the Parliament on key issues where possible and to uphold Single Market principles when adopting the General Approach on PPWR.

Download the full statement
Raphaëlle Hennekinne
Policy Director for Sustainability
Maite Castells Cercadillo
Officer for Sustainability Policy
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