The latest installment of the PPWR series, "Trilogue half-time - What has been achieved so far?" provides an update on the European Union's ongoing negotiations regarding the new packaging regulation. As of February 5, 2024, representatives from the EU Council, Parliament, and Commission have entered the trilogue discussions, aiming to reconcile differing positions on the PPWR, which is known for its complexity and the breadth of its provisions. Despite prior technical meetings, no immediate agreement is expected due to significant differences between the Council and Parliament, particularly on controversial issues like reuse quotas and packaging bans.

So far, a provisional compromise has been reached on 691 out of 1,095 provisions, with the majority aligning with the Commission's original proposals. However, major points of conflict remain unresolved, including specific rules for plastic and paper packaging, "recycled at scale" definitions, and minimum recycled content quotas. Additionally, the concept of "fair access" to recyclates has sparked debate, highlighting challenges in achieving recycled content goals and the potential for fragmented market regulations.

The coming weeks are crucial for negotiating key areas such as bans and reuse/refill quotas, with the potential for forced compromises to align with the Parliament's position. The controversy extends beyond the negotiating table, with the paper industry facing scrutiny for alleged breaches of the Transparency Register's code of conduct. The evolving dynamics of these negotiations underscore the complexities of aligning diverse interests within the EU's legislative framework.

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