After considerable time and engaging negotiations, the Belgian presidency of the European Council and representatives from the European Parliament (EP) have reached – beginning this March – a provisional political agreement on revising the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) to ensure that packaging is recyclable in order to minimize waste. The reform to EU’s current packaging waste regulations was long-awaited by BFG Packaging with concrete steps having been made during this time and solutions advanced to properly prepare and offer our clients the best products, aligned with the strictest environmental rules, while also meeting their justified needs.

As part of the aforementioned agreement, every piece of packaging in the EU needs to reach a certain level of recyclability by 2030 and also respect certain standards in terms of composition, in an effort to harmonize the market for packaging and promote a circular economy, after years of failed attempts both at EU and national levels.

The new rules introduce restrictions on certain packaging formats, including single-use plastic packaging for food and beverages, for fruit and vegetables, condiments, sauces within the HoReCa sector and for very lightweight plastic bags (e.g. those offered at markets for bulk groceries).

Furthermore, the agreement mandates take-away establishments to accommodate customers who wish to use their own containers for drinks and prepared foods without incurring additional charges. They would also be required to offer 10% of products in a reusable packaging format by 2030.

Since the adoption of the Single-use Plastics Directive back in 2021, BFG took its eco-mission seriously and began shifting to paper-based packaging, eco-friendly products made of sustainable wood and sugarcane fiber that come from renewable sources.

Our broad product range of bowls, plates and hinged lid containers of different sizes are also made of wood and sugarcane fibers with excellent properties that confer our products rigidity, strength, making it water and oil resistant, suitable for both microwave and traditional oven use, while also being biodegradable and compostable.

Also included in the new Regulation is a rule to reduce unnecessary packaging, creation of a maximum empty space ratio of 50% in grouped, transport, and e-commerce packaging, and requirements to minimize packaging weight and volume. No problem, as prevention at BFG comes hand in hand with adaptation and response. That is way we developed a service of packaging the natural fiber products in mini-packs of 2 to 25 products per set, with personalized labels at our clients’ disposal arranged in standard box or shelf-ready box, delivered in the shortest of time.

The new regulation aims to minimize packaging waste with reduction targets set at 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035 and 15% by 2040. Over the past decade, packaging waste is estimated to have increased by 25% in the EU, and projected to increase by a further 19% by 2030, with plastic packaging waste expected to increase by 46% by 2030, without the new rules.

Against this backdrop, in November 2022 the Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation on packaging and packaging waste that would replace the existing directive. The Parliament and Council adopted their positions on the proposed regulation in November and December 2023, respectively. The provisional political agreement reached now will be submitted to the member states’ representatives and to the Parliament’s environment committee for endorsement. If approved, the text will then need to be formally adopted by both institutions, before it can be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force. The regulation will be applied from 18 months after the date of entry into force.