NMWE statement in response to ENVI Committee vote on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposal

Brussels, 24 October 2023

NMWE welcomes the positive outcome from today’s vote in the ENVI Committee on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposal. The policymakers on the committee have recognised important principles underpinning the circular economy and closed loop recycling, and made some much-needed improvements to the initial proposal. As the proposal moves towards a plenary vote and Council deliberation, we state our support for the following ENVI Committee modifications:

  1. Mandatory Deposit and Return Systems (DRS) by 2029. DRS has been shown to be the most effective way to reach high collection rates, which are key to building effective closed-loop recycling reuse systems.
  2. Introducing the principles of preventing downcycling and fair access to recycled material. Recycling systems should prioritise pathways that promote further recycling in the same or similar applications. Producers obliged to meet recycled content targets should have fair access to recycled content in order to meet those targets.
  3. Reuse requirements applying to final distributors, rather than producers. This means new reusable products will be listed for sale, and 100s of SMEs in our sector will be protected from investing millions in bottling lines to produce reusable products which may never be sold.

We are disappointed to see that complementarity between reuse and closed loop recycling failed to gain the support of the Committee. This would further enable our sector to apply a reuse model where it makes environmental sense, such as in HORECA, and protect systems already delivering high rates of collection and recycling. We continue to advocate for complementarity as a necessary measure to ensure reuse and closed loop recycling are applied most effectively.