Packaging and Packaging Waste (PPWR) Regulations Policy Agenda
Last week, FEVE hosted a webinar titled #FutureMadeClear. It focused on the Packaging and Packaging Waste (PPWR) objectives and arguments, both from a glass and wine & spirits industry perspective.
We took the opportunity to explain what the PPWR outlines. We want to share how does it affect the wine business? Is each business affected differently? What are the most important topics?
Furthermore, we aim to objectively report the views of FEVE, and Pernod Ricard who were the panelists for this webinar.
This article is meant to inform and reflect on what was discussed.
The EU Commision is currently revising a proposal that will ultimately present new measures and other packaging requirements that will change the packaging landscape in the EU.
At the core of this proposal, is the EU Commission’s Green New Deal in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These goals include promoting a circular economy, halting biodiversity loss, and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
What does the proposal aim to do?
- Set weight-based waste reduction targets (vs material specific) involving primary packaging
- Address unnecessary packaging
- Foster reusable systems
- Decrease the need for virgin materials
- Challenge brands with standardization protocols
The PPWR proposal is being amended by the EU parliament and national governments, and the European Parliament Enivronmental Committee will vote on the proposal on the 24 of October 2023.
Many stakeholders, packaging industries, and other organizations are hoping to persuade the EU Commission to change the proposal.
Vanessa Chesnot, Head of Public Affairs Activities and Product Policy at FEVE, Jose Ramon Fernandez Barrero Director of European Affairs at Pernod Ricard, and Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General at FEVE gathered on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, to discuss what the potential impact the future regulations proposed will have on European brands, mainly food, wine and spirits brands. These parties shared their concerns and suggestions for the commission to take into account.
Whilst supporting the overall goals of the PPWR, FEVE, in representation of the Glass Industry, argued a variety of points, namely:
- Targets are weight-based and not material specific and involve primary packaging.
- These new regulations may incentivize a shift to lighter weight packaging materials such as plastic, which is harder to recycle or reuse.
- Glass is a heavier material, but it is inert; meaning it is resistant to chemical change making it the safest option for food and beverage products.
- Glass is a heavy packaging material and more energy intensive to produce, however glass is a very important material for food, wine and spirits brands. It is also a key material to consider when discussing reusability and recyclability.
- Product presentation is not recognized in the text.
- The PPWR should not force brands to standardize.
- Reusable bottle schemes can be an efficient solution for products for short supply chains, but it is not always applicable or efficient in every case.
- More ambition on close-loop recycling, bottle to bottle, high-quality and recyclability of materials is needed.
Pernod Ricard, in representation of their wine and spirits brands further argues some of these points:
- Standardization does not take into consideration cultural heritage and unique branding
- There is difficulty with transitioning away from glass packaging, because of complex rules regarding copyright laws.
- Reuse can only work in a very specific set of circumstances, even though they are partnering with other companies to see how reusable models can work.
- Whilst as a company they are focusing on eco-design, the PPWR doesn’t account that product presentation is a key function of the packaging.
As an organization, we are currently working with industry leaders in this topic to better understand and share the various ways to minimize the carbon footprint of wine. Furthermore, in our resource library you’ll find a myriad of solutions aligned with the PPWR.
Among our initiatives is one that aims to accelerate reusable bottle schemes, within an environmentally and financially sustainable framework, and how to best implement them. However, we advocate that this model is not one size fits all.
We look forward to continuing to share solutions and best practices with our community. We’ll also keep you updated on the ongoings and results of this proposal as the regulations, whether they are amended or not, will affect not only our members, but the consumer as well and the entire wine trade.
*FEVE is the Federation of European manufacturers of glass containers for food and beverage and flacons for perfumery, cosmetics and pharmacy markets.
*Pernod Ricard is a global wine and spirits group with a portfolio of 240 premium brands available in over 160 countries.