EU Parliament Imposes Sustainable Wine Packaging

The European Parliament has approved a new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation. Now it awaits the EU Council's final endorsement.

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Members of the EU Parliament adopted the new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (Photo: Quality Stock Arts -
Members of the EU Parliament adopted the new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (Photo: Quality Stock Arts -

The new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation aims to ensure more sustainable packaging and also reduce packaging waste across the EU. By 2030, all packaging must be recyclable, to address the growing volume of waste and support the circular economy.

Less and smaller packaging

The EU is committed to reducing packaging volumes incrementally. By 2040, packaging should be reduced by 15% relative to 2018 levels. Given the ever-increasing accumulation of packaging, this reduction is more significant than it seems at first glance.

Packaging size regulations

Under future regulations no more than 50% of will also address the unused space in secondary, transport, and e-commerce packaging—it must account for . Manufacturers and importers are required to produce lighter packaging with reduced volumes.

Restrictions on ‘forever chemicals’

The use of ‘forever chemicals’ (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS) above certain thresholds in food packaging will be restricted in food contact packaging, due to their durability and health risks.

Reusable systems for drinks packaging

By 2030, EU member states must, in principle, adopt reusable systems for drink packaging; some products, e.g. wine, aromatised wine and spirits, are, however, exempted. And member states may delay this requirement by up to five years under certain conditions.

Further restrictions apply to on-trade sales. From January 2030, single-use plastic packaging for drinks in cafés and restaurants will be prohibited. Operators must allow consumers' to use their own containers.

Recyclable packaging

Strict recyclability requirements will apply to many types of packaging. Plastic packaging, for instance, must meet minimum recycled content targets.

Exceptions for wood and paper

France has secured exceptions for wood packaging, preserving products like Camembert in wooden boxes. The regulation does not apply to paper either.


From 2009 to 2021, the total volume of packaging waste in the EU increased from 66m tonnes to 84m tonnes. In 2021, each EU resident generated 188.7 kilograms of packaging waste. Environmental experts project this could rise to 209 kilograms per capita annually by 2030 without further regulatory intervention.

In March, the Permanent Representatives of the EU Member States adopted the compromise text on the Packaging Regulation, negotiated among the EU Council, EU Commission, and EU Parliament. The regulation must now receive formal approval from the EU Council before it can be enacted.



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