Summary:

  • Current packaging guidelines are insufficient. Directive is becoming a regulation;
  • The PPWR is expected to be adopted in early 2025;
  • The use of reusable and recyclable packaging will become the standard;
  • Companies are expected to maintain packaging records;
  • With TrackOnline, you are prepared for the upcoming legislation.

Update:

December 15, 2023: In late November, the European Parliament approved the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).

The Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) is not yet finalized. In the coming period, the Council of Europe will review the current proposals, followed by final negotiations between the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council, known as trilogue negotiations. Only after these steps will the final legislative proposal be established.


What is the PPWR?

Currently, Europe has the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) in place since 1994. A directive sets the minimum requirements, and each country translates the PPWD into its own legislation, leading to variations in implementation. In the Netherlands, this was implemented in 2014 as the Packaging Management Decree. The European Commission has determined that the current directive falls short in several ways:

  • There are too many differences in how member states implement the directive;
  • Too many packaging materials are produced;
  • Insufficient recycled material (recyclate) is used;
  • Many packages are not adequately recyclable;
  • There is too much empty space in packaging (especially in e-commerce);
  • There is insufficient reuse of packaging;
  • There are too many differences in how member states implement the directive;

For these reasons, there is a proposal to turn the directive into a regulation, known as the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). This ensures that the same rules apply to all European member states.

What is the goal of the PPWR?

The goal of the PPWR is twofold. Firstly, the European Commission aims to reduce the environmental impact of packaging. This will be achieved through the following measures:

  • Reduction of the quantity of packaging (both in weight and volume);
  • Prevention of packaging waste;
  • Increase in the reuse of packaging;
  • Increase in recyclable packaging;
  • A more detailed and extensive record-keeping of these processes;

Secondly, the European Commission aims for legislative harmonization, creating a level playing field across Europe with identical requirements, labels, and definitions. What is recyclable in Germany should also be recyclable in the Netherlands.

Implementation of the PPWR

The question is, “How will we reduce the environmental impact of packaging?” This will be done through new essential sustainability requirements for packaging. From the moment these requirements come into effect, only packaging that meets these new standards may be introduced to the market:

Substances in Packaging
Packaging materials and their components must not contain more than 100 mg/kg of the substances lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium collectively.

Recyclable Packaging
By 2030, all packaging must be recyclable.

Minimum Recycled Content in Packaging
The use of recycled materials in the production of new products and packaging must increase. The minimum recycled content in plastic packaging will gradually rise in the coming years.

Compostable Packaging
According to the European Commission’s proposal, certain products such as tea bags, coffee pads, coffee capsules, labels on vegetables and fruits, and extremely light plastic bags must be compostable within two years of the PPWR’s implementation.

Packaging Minimization
Packaging should be as light as possible, and unnecessary space or air should be avoided.

Reusable or Refillable Packaging
More reusable and refillable packaging must be used in specific product categories, including transport packaging, large household appliances, hot and cold beverages (takeaway), e-commerce, beer, and wine.

Ban on Types of Packaging
For certain purposes, a number of packaging types will be banned by 2030. This includes single-use packaging in hospitality (drinks and food), retail (fresh fruits/vegetables), and hotels (toilet and hygiene products).

Packaging Records

A core component of the PPWR is packaging record-keeping. Every company is expected to maintain detailed packaging records to demonstrate compliance with the regulations. The PPWR measures are expected to come into effect twelve months after the publication of the regulations, which is expected to occur at the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025. This means that precise packaging registration will likely be required from late 2025 or early 2026. The expectation is that the following information will need to be registered for each packaging:

  • Packaging type
  • Color
  • Recycled material (post-consumer)
  • Weight per material
  • Empty space in the packaging
  • Reuse or refill system capability
  • Deposit system capability
  • Compostability suitability
  • Recycling performance

Timeline PPWR

How can TrackOnline help businesses comply with the PPWR measures?

A packaging registration system can be an essential tool for businesses to comply with the measures of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), focusing on the primary goal of reducing the environmental impact of packaging by reducing the number of packages entering the market.

TrackOnline provides detailed and real-time visibility of packaging items 24/7
With TrackOnline, you never lose track of packaging, and you always know how much packaging is at each location. By aligning online packaging balances, relationships are informed about mutual packaging transactions. This way, you know exactly when packaging returns, and you no longer need to order carts, plates, containers, plastic pallets, or roll containers more than necessary. This contributes directly to the circular economy.

Detailed Packaging Registration
TrackOnline enables companies to collect and manage detailed information about their packaging, including dimensions, volume, weight, and more. TrackOnline closely monitors legislation and will add specifications as needed.

Efficiency Improvement
Automation of packaging management can lead to increased efficiency in packaging processes, reduced errors, and cost savings.

Increased Transparency and Traceability
A packaging registration system enhances the transparency and traceability of packaging.

Start Registering Today
Whether it’s carts, plates, containers, crates, plastic pallets, or roll containers, you know exactly where they are with TrackOnline. Opt for comprehensive packaging administration in the cloud. Work simply and efficiently.

Learn more about TrackOnline? Contact us here or request a demo.