Is the EU’s new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation a help or hindrance to sports nutrition players?

Over the last few years, policy makers in the European Union have focused their efforts on introducing new requirements for food businesses to make the food system more sustainable and resource-efficient. In this context, a regulatory development that is highly relevant to the sports and active nutrition industry is the proposed Packaging and Packaging Waste​ Regulation (PPWR).

While the new rules have the potential to greatly improve the sustainability of packaging, stakeholders are concerned that the proposed reduction, reuse and recycling measures may compromise food hygiene and security, and generate costly economic burdens on businesses and consumers. With the details of the new rules on packaging and packaging waste currently being refined, here is an overview of this new legislation and its impact to the sports foods sector.

Strict rules to tackle packaging and packaging waste

In November 2022, the European Commission published the much-anticipated proposal​ to update the EU legislative framework for packaging and packaging waste. The proposed legislation aims to contribute to the EU’s growth strategy for a climate-neutral, resource-efficient and competitive economy. To this end, it suggests stricter targets for the reduction, reuse and recycling of packaging and associated waste. It also sets out rules on the composition and design of packaging to mandate packaging minimization, as well as new composition and labeling rules to aid recyclability.

To ensure the stringent implementation of the rules, the proposal transforms what has previously been a Directive into a Regulation. This means that the suggested new rules will be directly applicable at national level, without giving Member States the flexibility to amend or loosen the provisions to fit the national context, therefore providing a set of harmonized rules across Europe.

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