Review of the requirements for packaging and other measures to prevent packaging waste

This Action aligns to the following Calls to Action from the Circular Economy Action Agenda for Plastics

1. Agree which plastics can be eliminated and prepare the market to phase them out 

2. Incentivize and support product design for reuse and recycling of plastics 

8. Make the Recycled Plastics Market Competitive 



The 'Review of the requirements for packaging and other measures to prevent packaging waste’ initiative aims to tackle the limited competitiveness of secondary materials from recycled packaging relative to virgin feedstock and the increase in packaging waste generation and supports Member States’s achievement of recycling targets as agreed in the 2018 waste legislative package in a cost-effective way. The ambition of the review is ensuring fully harmonised rules on packaging that promote a well-functioning internal market while tackling negative impacts on environment and health from packaging and packaging waste. Therefore, the focus lies on (1) the free movement of packaging and packaged goods, (2) a well-functioning market for secondary raw materials and support compliance with recycling targets for packaging and (3) a reduction in packaging waste generation, including by reducing (over)packaging. 


Objectives for 2021 

This is meant to be achieved in through a clearer, more enforceable EU level requirements on packaging – which may include the setting of targets – revised to drive design for reuse and recyclability of packaging. Other measures that will considered include: the provision of an enforceable definition of ‘recycling packaging; the restriction of the use of some packaging materials to certain applications; the reduction of the complexity of packaging materials; the introduction of recycled content targets for specific packaging formats and a minimum mandatory green public procurement (GPP criteria and targets for packaging. The review started in 2020 and it completed its public consultation phase in January 2021. Its adoption by the Commission is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021. 



The European Commission