Navigating the Future of Packaging: An Overview of the PPWR

Navigating the Future of Packaging: An Overview of the PPWR

In recent years, the growing issue of packaging waste has captured global attention, prompting decisive action from the European Union. In response, the EU has introduced the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), a bold and comprehensive legislative framework poised to transform packaging management across members states. This groundbreaking regulation promises to revolutionise the packaging industry, ushering in sweeping changes in how packaging is designed, used, and disposed of.

In this article, we will delve into what the PPWR entails, its goals, the latest developments, the anticipated impact on businesses, and how UNIPAKHELLAS can assist in navigating this new regulatory landscape.

What is the PPWR?

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) is a recently proposed legislative measure designed to update and improve the existing packaging and packaging waste rules within the European Union. Currently, the EU’s packaging regulations are governed by the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), a framework established in the 1990s and ever since revised multiple times.

By 2022, the European Commission recognised that the PPWD was falling short in curbing the rise of packaging waste and in mitigating the environmental impact of packaging. Consequently, the Commission proposed the PPWR, a regulation with more ambitious objectives aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of packaging waste management and environmental protection across the EU. This regulation is intended to further support the transition to a circular economy and once fully implemented, replace the PPWD.

The goals of the PPWR:

The PPWR is designed to mitigate the environmental footprint of packaging while standardising packaging regulations across the EU to enhance the free movement of goods. The regulation’s primary objectives are:

  1. Reducing Packaging Waste: The PPWR aims to minimise the generation of packaging waste within the EU by implementing restrictions on certain packaging types and encouraging the adoption of reusable and refillable packaging options.
  2. Enhancing Recycling Quality: The goal is to ensure that by 2030, all packaging available in the EU is recyclable in an economically viable manner.
  3. Implementing Uniform Rules: The PPWR sets forth EU-wide standards for labelling, void space, and mandatory recycled content, ensuring consistent regulations across all Member States to create a level playing field.

Latest developments:

On April 24th, The European Parliament voted in favour on the inter-institutional agreement on the PPWR. However, it is not yet in force. The final text of the Regulation is expected to come into force in the last quarter of 2024. This development marks a significant step towards the implementation of more stringent and harmonised packaging regulations across the EU.

The impact of PPWR on your business:

The PPWR is set to drastically alter the design, consumption, and disposal of packaging throughout all value chains in the EU. This regulation will revolutionise the EU packaging landscape, impacting nearly every packaging category. Businesses must brace for these changes, as the PPWR will profoundly influence the European packaging and logistics sectors.

The new regulation will extend its effects to e-commerce, the HORECA sector, retailers, and other industry players, including fulfilment service providers across many Member States. Established producer responsibility organisations (PROs) and authorised representatives will need to introduce new services for market participants. Manufacturers and distributors will be required to gain a comprehensive understanding of their packaging to meet the new obligations, with non-compliance potentially leading to sales bans and fines. The era when packaging was distinguished solely by price and logistical efficiency is now a thing of the past.

How can UNIPAKHELLAS assist you?

At UNIPAKHELLAS, we have been closely monitoring the PPWR proposal from the beginning, leveraging our affiliation with FEFCO (The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers) and thoroughly examining all their publications and studies about the unintended consequences of reuse, the complementary roles of recycling and reusing, and strategies for the packaging industry to collaborate in reducing waste and aligning fully with the EU Green Deal.  This connection with FEFCO and our close monitoring of the PPWR proposal uniquely position us to help our customers and partners across the supply chain adapt to the new EU packaging regulations. We are proactively enhancing our portfolio to be top tier, fully aligned with the new regulation’s goals.

Our team is fully equipped to guide our customers through these regulatory changes, ensuring compliance and making the most of the opportunities presented by the PPWR. Whether you need assistance understanding the new packaging requirements, integrating recyclable solutions, or adhering to harmonised rules, UNIPAKHELLAS is here to support you through this transition and help you succeed in the evolving packaging landscape.

Do you have a question related to the PPWR? Email Elena Polychroni at