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How can labels and the printed decorative packaging industry meet the PPWD’s ambitions?
Publish date: 2024-03-01


As Europe goes about introducing new packaging and packaging waste rules, where do label and printed decorative packaging manufacturers’ responsibilities lie? Gabriel Magdaleno, foreign sales director at Masterpress, explains how digital watermarking, choosing the optimal material for each label application, improving consumer awareness and participation in sustainability schemes, and more can help the EU reach its goals.

According to Eurostat’s 2022 “Packaging Waste Statistics”, in 2021, a staggering 84.3 million tons of waste was generated in the European Union – in other words, an average of 188.7 kg per person and an increase over the previous year of 22.5%. All stakeholders have recognized the urgency of this situation and the corresponding need for an integrated, collaborative approach along all links in the value chain, especially in the context of the EU’s ambitious 2030 goals for packaging and packaging waste.

Faced with similar increases in packaging waste for the foreseeable future, the printed decorative packaging industry finds itself in a pivotal role in addressing this challenge.

The European Parliament, during its plenary session, endorsed its stance on the proposed regulation and on December 18, 2023, the European Council adopted its position on the proposal. This general approach will set the stage for negotiations between the European Council and Parliament regarding the final form of the Packaging and Packaging Waste legislation.

Both institutions must formally approve the final text, assumed to fall within the Belgian Presidency during the first half of 2024. The final text will likely include:

Waste Reduction Targets:

5% reduction by 2030
10% reduction by 2035
15% reduction by 2040
Exemptions for Member States:

Allowances for exemptions under specific circumstances
Potential exemptions for organic fruit and vegetables
Collection Targets for Single-Use Plastics:

EU members to collect 90% of single-use plastic bottles and “metal” beverage containers annually by 2029
Deposit Return Systems:

Mandatory implementation for the collection of single-use plastic bottles and metal beverage containers
Chemicals in Packaging:

Measures to address chemicals hindering reuse or recycling
Commission to collaborate with the European Chemicals Agency, aiming for a report by 2026
Reuse and Refill Targets:

Varied rules for different product categories
Exemptions for cardboard
Excluding wine from the regulations

Industry’s opportunity to lead with innovative technologies that reduce environmental impact

The packaging and printing industry is ready and able to make a significant contribution to reduce the environmental impact of packaging and work with and across industry. By leveraging advanced technologies and strategic approaches, the industry can effectively respond to the growing demands for environmental responsibility and align with the goals of the European Union’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD).


Source: Packaging Europe

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