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Environment

Implementation of the Packaging Directive

Information about the implementation of the Packaging Directive, including implementation reports, harmonized standards for packaging, monitoring and evaluation.

Implementation reports

In 2018, the Commission published a Report on the implementation of EU waste legislation, including the early warning report for Member States at risk of missing the 2020 preparation for reuse/recycling target on municipal waste.

According to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, amended in 2018, reports will be drawn up at the latest three years before the deadlines for attaining new – 2025 and 2030 - recycling targets for packaging waste. The first report covering packaging waste will be published in 2022.

Harmonized standards for packaging

The European Standardization Organisation (CENELEC) has developed harmonised standards for essential requirements of packaging. Product packaging manufactured in accordance with one of these standards is presumed to comply with the relevant Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive essential requirements.

StandardCommission communication 2005/C 44/13
Requirements for the use of European Standards in the field of packaging and packaging wasteEN 13427:2004
Requirements specific to manufacturing and composition - Prevention by source reductionEN 13428:2004
ReuseEN 13429:2004
Requirements for packaging recoverable by material recyclingEN 13430:2004
Requirements for packaging recoverable in the form of energy recovery, including specification of minimum inferior calorific valueEN 13431:2004
Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation - Test scheme and evaluation criteria for the final acceptance of packagingEN 13432:2000 (from Commission Decision 2001/524/EC)

 

Monitoring

EU countries provide data annually on packaging waste generation, recovery (including incineration with energy recovery and recycling), as well as data on the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags. This data is provided 18 months after the end of the reference period (for example by 30 June 2020 for the year 2018).

Data and information can be found on the websites of

Evaluation

The waste policy review of 2014 (“fitness check”) evaluated the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive to ensure that it was still fit for purpose. It found that the Directive can be considered a success as it had significantly improved environmental conditions in Member States. In particular, it led to an increase in the amount of packaging collected and recycled.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes for packaging, coupled with the use of other economic instruments, were a particularly effective approach to meeting the recycling and recovery targets for packaging. At the same time, there were some uncertainties related to the data on effective recycling. Measures taken by Member States on the prevention of packaging waste lacked appropriate indicators to monitor progress. The report noted a decrease of reusable packaging and admitted that there were trade-offs between a more efficient use of resources and recycling needs. These should be addressed through more ambitious recycling targets and clearer provisions on eco-design and essential requirements and their effective implementation and enforcement.