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(Brussels, 18 December 2023) —Today, the European Council has adopted its General Approach on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (#PPWR), incorporating four changes proposed by the Spanish Presidency of the Council. Unfortunately, this version of the PPWR will undo decades of progress towards a circular economy.

Read the statement of EPPA’s President Antonio D’Amato below.

“Unfortunately, the version of the PPWR that Member States have decided to endorse would undo decades of progress towards a circular economy and go against the constructive approach taken by the European Parliament.

The imposition of mandatory reuse targets and bans on fibre-based single-use packaging will damage well-functioning recycling systems and some of Europe’s most strategically important sectors. It would result in a flood of products that are made out of rigid plastic that is almost impossible to recycle across Europe and uses more water and energy and emits more CO2. The new rules will also exacerbate food waste and compromise food hygiene — two critical concerns in an era of food insecurity.

The agreed Council position might harm the EU Single Market, when on the contrary it should be a priority to protect alongside the environment. We should ensure a level playing field when regulating paper-based industries, which means granting the same exemptions to the HORECA sector as the transport and liquid packaging sectors.

We sincerely hope that during the trilogues, the scientific evidence will be considered more carefully, so we end up with a piece of legislation that will reinforce the circular economy rather than jeopardise the single market, the environment and the EU’s competitiveness.

As they embark on trilogues negotiations, EPPA urges national governments and MEPs to endorse a robust, science-based compromise that recognises recyclable, renewable paper-based packaging solutions as sustainable alternatives to plastic reusables. The EU’s strategic autonomy, its Green Deal ambitions and its food security are all at stake.”