Skip to main content
Knowledge category: EU regulations & legislation

Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) - Directive (EU) 2018/852

Updated on 24.05.2023

The Packaging and Packaging Waste (PPWD) Directive addresses both packaging design and packaging waste management. It aims to harmonise national measures concerning the management of packaging and packaging waste to prevent or reduce any impact on the environment. It also aims to ensure the functioning of the internal market and to avoid obstacles to trade, and distortion and restriction of competition within the community.

Author: European Commission
Date of adoption: 30.05.2018

Key objectives and (or) targets related to cities & regions

This is Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste (Text with EEA relevance).

This Directive sets targets for reaching recycling rates for different packaging materials (Art. 6). Member States need to ensure that these targets are attained on their whole territory. Therefore, active involvement and participation of municipalities is crucial to achieve these targets.

In line with the waste hierarchy laid down in Art. 4 of Directive (EU) 2018/851 (amending Directive 2008/98/EC), Member States are encouraged to take measures to increase the share of reusable packaging placed on the market and of systems to reuse packaging in an environmentally sound manner (Art. 5).

To this end, a number of measures are suggested. For example, deposit-return schemes are a measure that can be implemented on a regional and/or municipal level. It is necessary to ensure the availability of measures that provide: (a) the return and/or collection of used packaging and/or packaging waste from the consumer/other final user from the waste stream to channel it to the most appropriate waste management alternatives; and (b) the reuse or recovery including recycling of the packaging and/or packaging waste collected.

By 31 December 2024, Member States should ensure that Extended Producer Responsibility schemes are established for all packaging (Art. 7).

On 30 November 2022, the Commission proposed to revise PPWD to ensure that ‘all packaging on the EU market is reusable or recyclable in an economically viable way by 2030.’ This contributes to reaching the objective of the European Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan. It is also aligned with the commitment of the 2018 plastics strategy to ensure that by 2030 ‘all plastics packaging placed on the market can be reused or recycled in a cost-effective manner.’ Some of the potential measures to bring about change include mandatory reuse targets for economic operators for selected packaging groups, restriction for over-packaging, support for reuse and refill systems, establishing criteria for design for recycling to be applied to all packaging, mandatory deposit return systems for plastic bottles and aluminium cans, minimum inclusion rates for recycled content in plastic packaging, harmonised labelling of packaging and waste bins

More information about the EU rules on packaging and packaging waste can be found here:

More information about the Proposal for a revision of EU legislation on packaging and packaging waste can be found here:

Examples of how it was adopted/transposed by Member States

Examples of implementation of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive on a national level are presented in this publication by EUROPEN – an EU industry association in Brussels:

The publication is based on Directive 2004/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.

Key dates

  • Date of document: 30/05/2018; Date of signature
  • Date of effect: 04/07/2018; Entry into force Date pub. +20 See Art 3
  • Date of transposition: 05/07/2020; See Art 2.1
  • Date of end of validity: No end date