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April 2022

Dear Readers,

Typically, the first newsletter of the year is a chance to assess what lies ahead and share with you our outlook on the most relevant policy and legislative initiatives for the world of packaging. Reading through the numerous articles of this newsletter, you fill find just that.

As we try to press on with our daily work, though, we cannot ignore what is happening in Ukraine, the destruction of war and the unacceptable loss of human life. Sitting at our desks in the morning trying to continue with our calls and meetings as “business as usual” is hard, to say the least.

While we cannot even begin to process the human tragedy happening right now on our continent, we must deal with the impact of war on industry and supply chains, with packaging being no exception. As noted by the UN, the conflict in Ukraine has created not only an immediate humanitarian crisis, but also a threat to future global food security. The spike in energy prices combined with the impact on raw material supplies increase the pressure on packaging manufacturing, with risks to the security of essential systems such as food and pharmaceutical products. What happened during the COVID-19 pandemic has, to a certain extent, allowed industry and EU institutions to face these new disruptions somewhat better prepared. In March, the new Expert Group on the European Food Security Crisis Preparedness and Response Mechanism (EFSCM) was launched. EUROPEN is contributing to this group as it works to deliver a European response to crises threatening the functioning of food supply chains. We are also working to ensure that the packaging implications necessary to ensure safe and stable deliveries of food are taken into account.

EUROPEN remains committed to working with the EU institutions and industry partners to alleviate the humanitarian impact of this war, and to mitigate disruption to supply chains that rely on packaging to function safely.

Francesca Stevens


Packaging has purpose.

Although we all know what packaging is, do you know what purpose the packaging we use serves and why it exists in the first place?

The review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the ongoing work of the Commission on waste reduction offer the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about packaging functionalities. Now more than ever, it is of utmost importance to reconnect Packaging with its Purpose.

In a matter of days, EUROPEN will kick-off a campaign called #PackagingWithPurpose, centered around 24 purposes for the use of packaging. Let’s go back to the basics and discover what packaging is all about!

In the meantime, take a peek at the campaign trailer to get a foretaste of what’s coming.

Watch the video here →
Since our last update in December, the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) has made some progress. Work by Eunomia, the consultancy firm supporting DG Environment, has continued in the first quarter of this year to complete the PPWD Impact Assessment study, focusing on the selected measures identified for each key intervention area.

After its finalisation, the impact assessment will be reviewed by the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, an independent body within the Commission that evaluates all impact assessments. At the time of writing, we understand that the Commission is striving to publish the text of the legislative proposal in July 2022, although the publication could be pushed back to October in case of delays.


Read more here
The Waste Framework Directive review is in motion
Another key milestone is ahead of us. On 25 January 2022, the European Commission launched a call for evidence for an Impact Assessment that will support the revision of the Waste Framework Directive (WFD). The Commission’s proposal for the revision of the Waste Framework Directive, which was last reviewed in 2018, is expected to be published in Q2 2023.

The WFD revision is a key opportunity to further develop the European circular economy. It is therefore essential that the review contributes to developing a well-functioning EU market for Secondary Raw Materials, including by strengthening the harmonisation and enforcement of EU regulatory requirements on recycling, and by tackling inadequate collection of packaging waste to achieve the EU waste recycling targets.

Read more →

Previously called the “Sustainable Products Initiative”, the European Commission’s proposal for an Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) was published on 30 March 2022 as part of the Commission’s Circular Economy Package I. The objective of the proposed Regulation is to set a framework for the establishment of ecodesign requirements (both information and performance requirements) that products will have to satisfy to be allowed on the EU market.


The ESPR will repeal the Ecodesign Directive and extend its scope beyond energy-related products. Indeed, the proposed Regulation foresees the adoption of delegated acts which will impose requirements related to, for instance, product durability, reusability or reparability, for specific priority product groups.

You haven't read about it yet? Click here!


The Commission is currently revising rules to allow the use of recycled plastics in food contact material applications, which will repeal legislation dating back from 2008. The revision should provide additional clarity, including rules for operators and competent authorities, as well as provisions on which types of plastics (other than PET) may be recycled and used in food sensitive applications.


EU Taxonomy: the transition to a circular economy

On 30 March 2022, the European Commission’s Platform on Sustainable Finance published its recommendations for technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy with a focus on four main objectives: the transition to a circular economy, the sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, pollution prevention and control, and the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems. The recommendations have been developed with the support of stakeholders’ input and will now feed into the work of the Commission, which is expected to adopt a Delegated Act by the end of 2022. 
Read more →
Go Circular Business Summit: Transitioning the Chemical Industry Toward a Circular Future
On 28 and 29 April 2022, the entire plastics value chain will gather in Antwerp to discuss the transition of the chemical industry towards a circular future and the main plastics circularity challenges during the Go Circular Business Summit.

Go Circular, organised by Globuc, is a business conference focused on sharing success stories about achieving transformations towards circularity and sustainability. The 3rd edition of the Go Circular conference will address the transition of the chemical industry towards a circular future and the main plastics circularity challenges, including the EU legislation regarding achieving plastics circularity, how to scale up the plastics circular economy, the design challenges for recycling, and the LCA of chemical recycling technologies. The event will gather the plastics value chain brand owners, petrochemical, recycling technology, waste management and packaging companies, NGOs, regulators, and industry associations.
Register here →
Packaging waste & sustainability forum
Join the Packaging Waste and Sustainability Forum from 3-5 May in Brussels. The event takes place at a crucial time as the review of the PPWD is reaching its final stages. The event will look at what needs to be done in packaging and packaging waste to promote innovation, scale-up circularity and work towards climate neutrality. The conference will cover harmonisation requirements for collection, sorting and recycling, plastic circularity, and a full day workshop on creating a single harmonised EPR scheme throughout Europe.

Join experts from across the industry, with presentations from the European Commission, Cola-Cola, Proctor and Gamble, Nestle, and from Sévrine Pereira Teixeira, our EU Public Affairs and Communications Manager, on Policy Unlocks – A review of packaging legislation.
Register here →
Europen Packaging