Proposal for a regulation on packaging and packaging waste – eco-modulation

3. 7. 2023

At the end of last year, the European Commission presented a proposal for a new packaging regulation. The draft regulation also regulates the recyclability requirements for packaging and the eco-modulation of financial contributions.

Eco-modulation is one of the measures aimed at ecodesign of products that are key in the transition to a circular economy, which is one of the objectives of the European Green Deal.

Eco-modulation means that the financial contributions paid by manufacturers under the extended producer responsibility scheme are adjusted on the basis of criteria such as durability, reparability, reusability, recyclability or the presence of hazardous substances. The aim of this measure is to encourage the use of more sustainable materials by giving them a financial advantage.

The proposal for a Regulation on packaging and packaging waste provides in Article 6 of the Regulation for a modulation of financial contributions based on the recyclability performance grade of the packaging. Annex II of the Regulation sets out 5 recyclability performance grades, indicated by letters A to E, where category A means that 95% of the weight of the packaging will be recyclable and category E means that only less than 70% of the weight of the packaging will be recyclable.

Table 2: Recyclability performance grades

Recyclability performance gradesAssessment of recyclability per unit, in weight
Grade Ahigher or equal to 95 %
Grade Bhigher or equal to 90 %
Grade Chigher or equal to 80 %
Grade Dhigher or equal to 70 %
Grade Elower than 70 %

For manufacturers, therefore, the adjustment of packaging materials to recyclability performance grades will mean that if:

  • they will market packaging that is 95% recyclable by weight they will pay a lower financial contributions than a producer who
  • market packaging that is only less than 70% recyclable, for which such a producer will pay a higher financial contributions.

It is important to add that category E should be completely banned on the European market from 2030.

The aim of this measure is to financially motivate manufacturers to produce packaging from more easily recyclable and sustainable materials, while at the same time bringing positive changes towards the environment.

The proposal is currently in the legislative process, where it must be examined by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

A new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation is expected to be adopted by 2024.

We will provide further information on the new rules contained in the proposal for a Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation as we go along.

The proposal for a regulation on Packaging and Packaging waste can be found here.