Council’s position on packaging rules an ‘improvement’ over Parliament’s stance, says Zero Waste Europe


18 Dec 2023

PPWR Council Position 18 December 2023 Zero Waste Europe Press Release

Brussels, 18 December – Zero Waste Europe acknowledges that the Council of the EU’s position reached today on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), while watered down, represents an improvement over the backwards position of the Parliament, setting a strong foundation for upcoming negotiations in the trilogues.

The reuse provisions in the file have been subject to disagreements between Member States. Italy and Finland circulated a non-paper with the aim of undermining reuse and waste prevention measures in the PPWR after the vote in the Parliament, which led the Spanish Presidency to accept further derogations in this field. 

As a result, the Council’s general approach includes the removal of reuse targets for wine and the reinstatement of cardboard exemptions. Additionally, the Council suggests limiting restrictions on packaging for fresh fruit and vegetables exclusively to plastic packaging.

Raphaëlle Catté, Policy & Research Support, states:

“We appreciate the Council’s achievement of a more favourable arrangement for reuse provisions compared to the Parliament, maintaining most of the targets for take-away, beverage, and transport packaging in their general approach. However, due to opposition led by Italy and Finland, the Presidency had to grant additional exemptions to reuse provisions. With the welcome inclusion of open formulations in the targets, using terms like “at least,” Member States which are already implementing ambitious reuse measures won’t be required to revert to disposable packaging.”

Dorota Napierska, Toxic-Free Circular Economy Policy Officer, states: 

“The Council’s compromise text introduces crucial measures, including clear identification of substances of concern on packaging labels and comprehensive assessments of their impact on reuse, recycling, and chemical safety. While enhancing transparency, we urge immediate bold actions, especially for hazardous substances like PFAS and bisphenols, to safeguard human health and address packaging’s vital role in everyday life.”

Lauriane Veillard, Chemical Recycling and Plastic-to-Fuels Policy Officer, states: 

“It is encouraging that the Council acknowledges the differences between recycling technologies, notably regarding energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions. However, it fails to take into account  that the overall environmental impact of recycling goes beyond GHG emissions – something which was recognised by the Parliament in its position.”

During the proceedings, Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius noted the Council’s compromise text aligns with the Commission’s goal for sustainable packaging, and Chair Teresa Ribera Rodríquez stated she saw the European Parliament report as a solid basis for trilogue negotiations next month. As Belgium takes the Council presidency in January 2024, Zero Waste Europe urges swift action to secure a deal before the upcoming European parliamentary elections next year.




Notes to the editor




On reuse

General links


Press contacts 


Sean Flynn, Media Outreach & Communications Officer at Zero Waste Europe, [email protected] or [email protected] / +32 471 96 55 93

Aline Maigret, Head of Policy, [email protected] 

Raphaëlle Catté, Policy & Research Support, [email protected] 

Lauriane Veillard, Chemical Recycling and Plastic-to-Fuels Policy Officer, [email protected]  

Janek Vahk, Zero Pollution Policy Manager, [email protected]  

Dorota Napierska, Toxic-Free Circular Economy Policy Officer, [email protected] 


About Zero Waste Europe 


Zero Waste Europe is a European network of communities, local leaders, experts, and change agents working towards the elimination of waste in our society. Advocating for sustainable systems and the redesign of mankind’s relationship with resources, they accelerate a just transition towards zero waste for the benefit of people and the planet.