The European Commission will not be able to hold to its original timeline for the adoption of amendments to the EU Packaging Directive and its planned policy framework for biodegradable plastics. Previously scheduled for publication on 20 July, this second Circular Economy Package of the current year does not appear on the indicative list of the agenda items for the Commissioners’ weekly “college meeting” until well after the end of the summer break.
The package is now tentatively scheduled for adoption on 30 November 2022 and is to include the long-anticipated proposal for reinforcing the essential requirements for packaging and for establishing EU-level packaging waste prevention measures and targets. Both are part of the planned review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD).
It is possible that the Directive could be replaced by a Regulation. Mattia Pellegrini, head of the Waste Management & Secondary Materials unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment, had suggested as much in a panel discussion in May. The amended essential requirements are to help implement the targets set in 2018 as part of the EU plastics strategy, namely that all plastic packaging in the European Union be recyclable or reusable in a cost-effective manner by 2030.
The Circular Economy Package II is also to include the policy framework for bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics, and a proposed Regulation on "green claims", that is advertising claims regarding the sustainability of products. The Commission also plans to present measures to address the release of microplastics into the environment and an initiative to promote repair and reuse, the so-called "right to repair"....