• The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation

    Driving circularity in the packaging industry

The packaging industry is undergoing a major shift as the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), which supports the EU’s goal to become climate neutral by 2050, fast approaches. If we work together, we can reshape packaging and develop sustainable labeling solutions that enable the transition to a circular economy.

 

 

Your partner in
sustainable labeling


To make your packaging as sustainable as possible, your choice of labeling is critical. Our sustainability experts are here to help you make informed decisions, ensuring your labeling materials align with the complex requirements of the PPWR, reduce your environmental footprint, and empower your business to achieve its goals.

 

 


The impact of PPWR on label materials

The PPWR is sprawling and complex. Here we break down the measures that have a direct impact on your labeling choices*:

 

 

All packaging must be recyclable

  • All packaging must be recyclable by 2030. The PPWR aims to create consistency in packaging recyclability through mandatory Design for Recycling (DfR) guidelines. These will list requirements for various packaging formats (see Annex II of the PPWR).
  • Recyclability will be assessed at the level of the packaging unit. It will therefore include label facestocks and adhesives, which can enable recycling of packaging made from materials like plastic, cardboard, and glass. For example, labeling solutions can support recycling of PET packaging by washing off during the recycling process.
Packaging and packaging waste regulation

 

 

Packaging and packaging waste regulation

Targets for reusable and refillable packaging

  • Targets have been proposed for reusable and refillable packaging for different product types but are still being discussed. For example, for non-alcoholic beverage bottles the European Commission has proposed targets of 10% reusable by 2030 and 25% by 2040.
  • Labels support reusable packaging models in several ways, for example by adhering to packaging through multiple wash cycles, by washing off during the collection process, or by enabling the tracking and collection of reusable packaging.

 

 

Recycled content targets for the plastic part in packaging

  • Recycled content targets have been proposed for the various types of plastic packaging but are currently under discussion. Different targets will apply to contact sensitive packaging (such as for pharmaceutical applications), PET packaging (except beverage bottles), and non-contact sensitive packaging.
  • Labeling materials containing recycled content are available for a variety of applications and a variety of source materials, such as filmic labels made with post-consumer waste.
Packaging and packaging waste regulation

 

 

Packaging and packaging waste regulation

*Note: The measures listed are accurate as of December 2023 and subject to change; the Regulation is set to be finalized by March 2024.

 

 

Harmonized extended producer responsibility schemes

  • Producers will be required to pay Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fees to cover the cost of managing their waste. These fees are adjusted to incentivize more recyclable packaging and penalize less environmentally friendly alternatives.
  • Labeling choices can have a significant impact on the fees you must pay under EPR schemes. For example, labels that are made with less material or that enable recycling can significantly reduce your tax bill.

PPWR timeline

While the details of the PPWR are still under discussion, we do have a rough timeline of when various parts of the legislation will go into effect and when other changes will take place.

 
PPWR

European Commission to publish a methodology for calculating and verifying recycled content in packaging

PPWR

Packaging must comply with Design for Recycling criteria (defined for “recyclable” only) and the first wave of reuse targets

PPWR

Packaging must be “recyclable at scale”, that is, collected, sorted, and recycled at a high rate

PPWR

Packaging must comply with the second wave of reuse targets

 

 


More PPWR insights

Packaging Waste Regulation

Unpacking the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PWRR)

Alena Maran, our Director Strategy & Sustainability, looks at the emerging challenges facing the packaging industry and the desired outcomes as the much-discussed Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation gains momentum.

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Packaging Europe podcast

Packaging Europe podcast: How Avery Dennison is preparing for the PPWR

Alena Maran (Director Strategy & Sustainability) and Emilie Bartolini (Government Affairs Lead EMENA) discuss the latest PPWR developments and what the packaging ecosystem needs to do to prepare.

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Additional resources

Article

PPWR unpacked: The role of reusable packaging

In this article, several key players and Avery Dennison experts look further into the challenges and opportunities presented by packaging reuse.

Article

Packaging Insights: Data-driving the PPWR

As the PPWR draws nearer, Avery Dennison Ecosystem Engagement Manager Monica Gross discusses harmonization and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Webinar

Packaging Europe webinar: Reuse in action

Our colleagues Nataliya Malhanova and Noam Assael join a discussion on steps we need to take to ensure reusable packaging is as scalable and sustainable as possible.

Guide

Sustainable labeling solutions guide

We’ve pioneered a wide range of ready-to-go labeling solutions that improve recyclability, enable packaging reuse, and reduce consumption of natural resources. View them all here.

 

 


Stay updated

Keeping up with the evolution of the PPWR and figuring out what you need to do is a challenge, but we are here to help. We will keep you updated as the Regulation takes shape and work with you to develop packaging that supports the goals of the PPWR as well as your business.

 

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Get to know other regulations:

The PPWR is just one of many current and upcoming regulations driving sustainability in packaging within the EU.

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