Eu to revise Packaging Directive with new changes for compost plastics!

  • 2022-11-03
The proposal for a new draft regulation on packaging and packaging waste, an amendment to the current European Directive 94/62/EC, to be officially published by the European Commission on 30 November 2022, is yet to be completed. The news has been circulating in the industry for days. The amendments will cover several things.

1. Minimum recovery content

Let's look at the key points of paying closer attention to the plastic packaging industry. The first is the minimum rate of recycling from post-consumer plastic waste, which will reach 50 per cent in single-use beverage bottles by 2030 and 65 per cent by 2040; The targets for contact-sensitive plastic packaging are slightly lower, at 25% and 50%, respectively. For all other plastic packaging, the minimum content starts at 45% (2030) and reaches 65% by 2040. It is anticipated that these standards may be temporarily modified in cases where the availability of recycled materials is low or the price is too high.

To facilitate recycling, and provide sufficient recycling volumes, a margin system (DRS) will need to be introduced from 2028 for disposable containers with a capacity of up to three litres (not just plastic containers).

2. Recycling target

The draft also revised upward the recycling targets: 65 per cent by weight for all packaging, with varying percentages for material and time: 25 per cent for wood, 50 per cent for plastic and aluminium, 70 per cent for glass and ferrous metals and 75 per cent for paper and cardboard by 2025. In 2030, this figure will rise, with the common target rising to 70% and plastic packaging rising to 55% of consumer input. Packaging waste exported outside Europe should also be accounted for, provided it can be shown that it has actually been recycled in the destination country.

3. Compostable plastic

There are also new developments in biodegradable and compostable packaging, which will make certain products such as tea bags, coffee pods, stickers on fruits and vegetables, and ultra-lightweight plastic bags compulsory within two years of the regulation coming into force.

Compostable plastics are generally allowed only if there is a clear benefit to the environment or human health; In particular, cross-contamination of conventional and compostable plastic waste should be avoided, which may compromise the quality of recycled materials.

Individual countries may decide to authorize the use of lightweight compostable plastic bags if collection plans and organic waste disposal infrastructure are in place. The new rules also require that no compostable polymers can be used for packaging other than those that are explicitly allowed.

Bioplastics can be counted toward recycling targets as long as they are properly composted or otherwise recycled. Recycling targets cannot be calculated for packaging used to produce energy, including fuel.

4. New definitions and labels

The draft also sets out a new definition of recyclable packaging, as all packaging placed on the market must be recyclable from 2030 onwards, provides for adjustment of EPR rates according to performance and recyclability (Extended Producer Responsibility), and introduces targets in terms of re-use, with different steps in 2030 and 2040.

Environmental labels on packaging also introduce mandatory information (e.g., composition, reuse and delivery) and other voluntary information (e.g., recycled composition). The new regulations restrict the use of hazardous substances, particularly lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium.

5, prevention,

There is no shortage of measures to prevent waste, excessive packaging and greenwashing (labels or claims that can lead to confusion). On prevention, member states are urged to reduce per capita packaging waste by 5 percent by 2030, 10 percent by 2035 and 15 percent by 2040. For shoppers, up to 40 bags per person per year from 2025 can be reduced, either by excluding ultra-light bulk bags or when hygiene requirements recommend their use.

Explicitly ban certain forms (with exceptions) such as single-use plastic packaging, single-use packaging for fresh fruit and vegetables, polystyrene foam packaging for food retail (excluding fish bins), single-use plastic packaging for food and beverages consumed in hotels, restaurants, cafes or small hotels, For example, cosmetics and hygiene bottles containing less than 50 ml liquid products or less than 100 g non-liquid products.

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