The European Commission is due to publish the newly revised EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) on November 30 to include mandatory recycled content targets for plastic drinks bottles and eco-design criteria, as reported by Reuters on November 28. The revised PPWD is part of the EU’s effort to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, the proposal is controversial because it significantly lowers its previous ambitious goals, such as previous targets on recycled and reused content required in all plastic packaging in the EU market. Specifically, the target for recycled content in beverage packaging changes from 30% by 2030 to 20%, while the target for recycled content in e-commerce deliveries drops from 20% by 2030 to 10%.
Plastic and glass waste was the second largest type of packaging waste material in the EU from 2009 to 2020, behind paper and cardboard. The PPWD, first published in 1994, aims to reduce the adverse impact of packaging and packaging waste on the environment. The EU has amended the PPWD several times to add consumption reduction measures and waste management obligations and set recycling and reusing targets for EU countries, with the last revision issued in 2018.