On 11 June 2020, the European Commission published a so-called inception impact assessment, which is its plan for revising the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62 (PPWD).
Originally adopted in 1994, the PPWD covers all packaging placed on the European market and all packaging waste. Whilst plastic packaging in particular has received a lot of – mostly negative – attention recently, including from EU policymakers, both the existing law and its revision in principle refer to all packaging and are therefore relevant to all materials.
The PPWD has the dual aims to harmonise national measures and to this end to ensure the functioning of the internal market, and to avoid obstacles to trade, while preventing any environmental impact of packaging and packaging waste. Hence, it already includes the objectives to prevent the production of packaging waste and reduce its final disposal, through reusing, recycling and other recovery solutions. All packaging must comply with ‘essential requirements’ relating to its composition and reusable and recoverable nature.
The EU last revised the PPWD in May 2018, in the context of its first, 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan.