top of page

Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive


  • EU rules on packaging and packaging waste cover both packaging design and packaging waste management. They aim to deal with the increasing quantities of packaging waste, which cause environmental problems. They also aim to remove barriers in the internal market – caused by EU countries adopting different rules on packaging design. 

  • Although the implementation of these rules has been considered a success, the amount of packaging waste in the EU is still increasing, and too many of our finite resources are being wasted without being recirculated into the economy.


  • EU rules on packaging cover all types of packaging and packaging waste placed on the European market. This means all materials, and packaging including industrial, commercial, household and other sectors.

  • These rules regulate what kind of packaging can be placed on the EU market, as well as packaging waste management and packaging waste prevention measures. All packaging placed on the EU market has to comply with essential requirements related to its manufacturing, composition, and reusable or recoverable nature.

The Packaging Directive aims to;

  • harmonise national measures on packaging and the management of packaging waste

  • provide a high level of environmental protection

  • ensure the good functioning of the internal market

The latest amendment to the Directive contains updated measures to;

  • prevent the production of packaging waste, and 

  • promote the reuse, recycling and other forms of recovering of packaging waste, instead of its final disposal

Among other rules, by end of 2024, EU countries should ensure that producer responsibility schemes are established for all packaging. The Directive also sets the following specific targets for recycling.

EU packaging directive table.PNG


[1] ec.europa

bottom of page