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PPWR: Council misses opportunity to adopt strong recyclability criteria and unleash the full potential of highly recyclable materials.


20 Dec 2023


Climate & Environment

Brussels, 20 December 2023 

On 18 December 2023, the Council of the European Union reached a general approach to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). Ever since the European Commission proposed the PPWR, Metal Packaging Europe (MPE) – the European association representing rigid metal packaging (steel and aluminium)  – has supported its overarching goals of improving packaging recyclability and  reusability.  

MPE takes note of today’s decision but regrets that Member States have not  retained a more ambitious approach to packaging recyclability while recognising the complementarity of recycling and reuse targets for some highly recyclable packaging materials.  

We believe that more could have been done to make recyclability provisions  effective. MPE is particularly concerned with the reduction of performance grades  to just three categories and the omission of qualitative criteria for recyclability. 

Reuse is not always the best environmental option - especially in the case of highly recyclable single-use packaging like metal beverage cans. MPE regrets that Member States have not allowed the exemption of packaging with a separate collection rate above 90% or covered by a DRS from reuse targets. 

Finally, with regards to DRS, MPE deplores the Council’s decision to lower the threshold for Member States to opt out from establishing a DRS, which could hinder progress in sustainable packaging practices. 

Several ambiguities remain and numerous aspects require improvement for economic operators to appreciate a secure legal environment. “Looking ahead, MPE hopes that the European Parliament’s approach will be better reflected in the  upcoming interinstitutional negotiations and that EU legislators will provide for  stronger recyclability measures and more pragmatic reuse requirements”,  concluded MPE’s CEO Krassimira Kazashka.

MPE remains committed to continue engaging with decision-makers and hopes  that these concerns will be taken into account in order for the PPWR to best achieve sustainable packaging and positively contribute to the EU's circular future. 

For further information:  

+32 2 897 04 90


Metal Packaging Europe is the voice of Europe’s rigid metal packaging industry,  bringing together manufacturers, suppliers, and national associations. The  European rigid metal packaging industry covers 760 companies, employing just  under 180,000 people. Together they produce some 98 billion units annually for  the beverage, food, health & beauty, household, and industrial markets.


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