The EU Council has reached an agreement on the packaging and packaging waste regulation (PPWR), signalling its commitment to lowering and preventing packaging waste.

The proposal, which is hoped to help harmonise the internal market for packaging and improve the circular economy, requires all packaging to be recyclable and reduces substances of concern.

The approach maintains the headline 2030 and 2040 targets for minimum recycled content in plastic packaging.

In addition, the new regulation sets labelling requirements to improve consumer information.

The proposal sets binding reuse and refill targets for 2030 and 2040 and controls the usage of certain types of single-use packaging by restricting some packaging formats.

It also requires economic operators to cut their own packaging usage.

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As per these new rules, member states are required to achieve a separate collection rate of at least 90% a year of single-use plastic bottles and metal beverage containers by 2029.

The approach sets a packaging waste reduction target of 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035, and 15% by 2040, with 2018 as the base year.

The European Commission will review these targets eight years after the regulation is enforced.

Spanish Government Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge Minister Teresa Ribera Rodríguez said: “190kg of packaging waste was generated by each European in 2021. And this figure will grow by nearly 20% in 2030, if things stay the same. We cannot let that happen.

“Today’s general approach gives a strong message that the EU is committed to reducing and preventing packaging waste from all sources. This regulation is crucial in our path to a circular economy and a climate-neutral Europe.”

The council will use the agreement as a mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament to draw the final shape of the legislation.

Earlier this month, the European Council reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament to revise the existing regulation on the classification, labelling, and packaging of chemicals.