How Should Companies Respond to The New European Packaging Regulations?

How Should Companies Respond to The New European Packaging Regulations?

    The European Commission on November 30, 2022 proposed new rules for packaging in the EU, the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, to address the growing waste of packaging. Each European produces on average about 180 kg of packaging waste per year. 40% of plastic and 50% of paper in the EU is used for packaging. If no action is taken, packaging waste in the EU will further increase by 19% by 2030, and plastic packaging waste will even increase by 46%. The new rules on packaging are issued to prevent the above from happening.

    The content is mainly reflected in the following aspects.

  • Reducing per capita packaging waste through reuse and recycling.
  • Promote packaging reuse or refill, companies must provide consumers with a certain percentage of products in reusable or refillable packaging, and standardize packaging methods as well as reusable labels.
  • Address unnecessary packaging. Disposable packaging and micro-packaging will be banned in some industries, such as the food and beverage industry .
  • Develop packaging design standards; and clarify which packaging must be compostable so that consumers can dispose of it in bio-waste.
  • Manufacturers must include a mandatory rate of recycled content in new plastic packaging, which will help convert recycled plastic into valuable raw materials.

    The New Circular Economy Action Plan of European Green Deal also states that: the use and production of bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics has been growing steadily. The biomass used to produce bio-based plastics must be a sustainable source that does not cause damage to the environment. Biodegradable plastics must be labeled to show the conditions and time required for them to degrade. Industrial compostable plastics should only be used if they have environmental benefits, do not negatively impact compost quality, and have appropriate biowaste collection and disposal systems. Industrial compostable packaging is only allowed for tea bags, filter coffee pods, fruit and vegetable stickers as well as lightweight plastic bags. Also, the product must state that it is certified for industrial composting in accordance with EU standards.

As a result, there are challenges and opportunities for businesses and companies in the flexible packaging industry. Companies will have to transform and seek more innovative flexible packaging solutions in order to reduce packaging waste, promote reuse and recycling. Companies will need to make corresponding efforts in the following areas.

  • Improve packaging and material selection requirements, especially recyclable and biodegradable materials.
  •  Packaging manufacturers need to change and upgrade packaging design to make it easy to recycle, easy to regenerate and reusable.
  • Material suppliers need to accelerate the research and development of green and low-carbon materials.

DXC Packaging has been producing high quality, innovative sustainable flexible packaging since 2005 and continues to develop and produce recyclable and biodegradable packaging that is certified for home composting and industrial composting according to EU standards. DXC has extensive production experience and can provide customers with the following sustainable flexible packaging solutions.

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