After years of assessments, discussions, stakeholder meetings, and extensive trilogue consultations, the European Parliament adopted the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) at its first reading on April 24, 2024. This regulation is designed to facilitate the transition to a circular economy. Once fully implemented, the PPWR will replace the existing Packaging Directive 94/62/EC.

The PPWR represents a profound shift in how packaging is regulated within the European Union, aiming to harmonize the Union’s internal market for packaging (Art. 1(2) PPWR). It will encompass a wide array of packaging types used in production, importation, distribution, and inter-company logistics across the EU, impacting millions of businesses and citizens.

The new PPWR will undoubtedly shake up the European packaging and logistics sector. Moreover, the changes will affect e-commerce, the HORECA sector, retailers, as well as other players that are new to the game in most Member States, such as fulfilment service providers. Established producer responsibility organizations (PROs) and authorized representatives will discover a new range of services to offer to market participants. Due to numerous new obligations, manufacturers and distributors will need to know ‘their’ packaging holistically at an unprecedented level. Failing to do so might result in sales bans and fines. The days when packaging was (only) differentiated by its price and logistical effectiveness will belong to the past.

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