What are the latest developments concerning environmental legislation globally? We’ve picked out some highlights for you for May 2021.

Revision of EU Packaging Directive delayed

30 April 2021

The planned revision of the EU Packaging Directive will likely be delayed.

The European Commission initially intended to present its legislative draft in the fourth quarter of 2021, but this date has now been postponed to the first quarter of 2022, according to Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius.

A possible reason for the delay could be the discussions around the proposal to transform the Packaging Directive into a Regulation –  as is also planned for the new battery framework – meaning that the rules would be directly applicable and would not have to be transposed into national law.

However, this would deprive member states of the flexibility to adopt their own regulations that go beyond the Commission’s level of ambition.

With the revision, the Commission wants to ensure that all packaging is reusable or recyclable in an economically viable manner by 2030.

To achieve this goal, the Commission plans to adapt the essential requirements for packaging and to impose rules that will reduce the overall volume of packaging and make its design more sustainable.

Landbell Group company, European Recycling Platform (ERP) responded to a public consultation on the Commission’s ideas at the beginning of the year.

Parliament decision on EU Battery Regulation in January 2022

The new Battery Regulation will not be adopted by the European Parliament before next year, according to the responsible committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

The vote in committee is going to take place on 9 December, followed by the vote in plenary one month later.

Discussions in Parliament on the Battery Regulation started in mid-March. The responsible rapporteur, Antonius Manders (EPP), is currently working on his report on the dossier, which is expected to be published before the parliamentary summer break in July. MEPs will then have until 16 September to table amendments.

European Recycling Platform (ERP) already prepared a comprehensive position paper on the dossier and will continue to contribute to the legislative process.

German Parliament approves revision of WEEE Law

The German Parliament has approved amendments to the country’s Electrical and Electronic Equipment Law (ElektroG). The new regulations aim to increase the collection of electronic waste and to improve preparation for reuse.

They also address the growing problem of free riders, especially from third countries, by imposing new provisions on electronic marketplaces and fulfilment service providers.

Parliament’s decision contains some important amendments to the government’s draft, which were added in the parliamentary process. For example, actors who take back WEEE must in future mark their collection points with a harmonised logo developed by the clearing house.

In addition, parliamentarians imposed new requirements on authorised representatives: commissioning of third parties must be effective for at least three months and authorised representatives with more than 20 registrations must undergo an approval procedure.

After the green light from Parliament, the dossier now goes to the country’s Upper House. If no objections are raised there, the law can be published in the Official Journal and enter into force on 1 January 2022. However, the new requirements for electronic marketplaces and fulfilment service providers will only apply from 2023.

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