The European Packaging Sector

The packaging sector is pivotal to the resilience of the EU economy, as a strategic autonomy asset and as a key element to guarantee the security of products supply. For this reason, it is essential to raise awareness about the central role that it plays in the EU economy.

On 30 November 2022, the European Commission published the Revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive to reinforce the essential requirements for the packaging and establish EU level packaging waste prevention measures and targets. The aim of the event is to assess the impact of the rules on several sectors of the European economy. After being heavily affected by disruptions in packaging value chain, exposure to high price fluctuations, energy shortages, unavailability of raw materials firstly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and then due to the War in Ukraine, the packaging industry faces another challenge now as it is asked to adapt to the new packaging rules within its financial and technical capacities. Packaging industry is worried that with the reported dismissal of recycling as a component of packaging circularity it will cause difficulties with the conversion of waste into viable secondary packaging.

A lack of packaging availability could have unprecedented and dangerous consequences on the internal market, by threatening the security of essential systems - such as the food, health and pharmaceutical sectors - and disrupting the distribution and availability of products throughout the EU.  

In the light of the above, this event has a twofold objective:
•   reinforce the message of the EESC opinion "Making packaging a safe, affordable and eco-friendly industry" and
•   to react to the Commission Revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive published on 30 November 2022.

The debate will concentrate on the industrial sectorial aspect of packaging, especially the challenges faced by the sector.