Today, the Council of the European Union reached an agreement on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation. We welcome the finalisation of the reuse provisions and the maintaining of most of the targets set by the Parliament’s vote. However, it is unsettling to note that we stand far from the initial expectations. 

We regret that the Council decided to further reduce the ambitions. In particular,  by extending the dates of application of the regulation to 18 months after its entry into force. Moreover, the Council has further lowered the ambition of Article 44, by reducing the threshold to 78% for the exemption to introduce a Deposit Refund System (DRS). It is saddening to see that this reflects national interests instead of ambitious European rules that should serve the greater interest and not be underpinned by exceptions serving national causes.   

Last week, ACR+ published a report providing a detailed overview on the different DRS in Europe. It shows that DRS represent an effective means to increase collection rates and increase recycling’s quality, as well as to decrease littering. Nonetheless, like all other policy tools, DRS has limitations, which need to be understood and nuanced. Thus, a deeper and more transparent analysis of the consequences of the possible coexistence of DRS with existing Extended Producer Responsibility schemes is needed.   

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