Revision of Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste

EESC opinion: Revision of Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste

Key points


  • supports the Commission's proposal and ongoing efforts to decrease packaging waste, as it continues to increase globally and is highly detrimental to our health, lives, economies and planet.
  • calls for a proper impact assessment of reusing and refilling options and recommends mandatory recycled content targets to only be considered and applied for specific packaging materials, where this could lead to higher use of recyclates.
  • calls on all relevant stakeholders to be involved in the implementation of the new regulation. Transposing the updated regulation into national legislations should not impose unnecessary administrative or operational burdens to SMEs.
  • proposes raising the percentage of packaging waste recycled at scale from 75% to 90% of the EU population covering at least two-thirds of EU Member States by 2030. The Committee also supports the implementation of recyclability performance grades and phasing-out the worst-performing Grade E packaging by 2030.
  • suggests targets should be calculated on the basis of the number of inhabitants, economic activity, industrial production and the income of the inhabitants.
  • calls for applying and enforcing protection and supporting schemes (public education, trainings, collective bargaining, compensation schemes and transfers to other industries) for workers employed in the industries in transition.
  • calls on the European Commission to adopt a differentiated, customised framework to evaluate, monitor and compare packaging strategies for various products aiming to decrease the amount of packaging waste.
  • stresses consumers should be involved in and incentivised for reusing, returning or recycling packaging material in an optimal manner, through positive and negative compensation mechanisms as well as awareness raising and educational campaigns which will enable consumers to better see and understand their role.
  • calls on the Council and the European Parliament to closely work together with local and regional authorities and economic operators in order to find the best ways to put in practice the labelling system.