EU Parliament protects distinctive packaging designs

29.11.2023: Curbing the environmental impact of packaging and its waste from EU-products – that is the ambitious and significant goal of the new European Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). As this entails a shift from national guidelines to a binding, EU-wide regulation, many of the proposed points are still in the process of negotiation. The recent European Parliament Plenary session vote on some of the open issues recognised the position of glass packaging manufacturers, as it preserves the rights of brand owners to use distinctive designs. Vetropack welcomes the decision, along with the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE).

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Packaging design plays a key role in conveying product identity, brand recognition and the value of high-quality products made in the EU. Thus, we appreciate that the members of the European Parliament have recognised the vital role of intellectual property rights concerning packaging design and agree with Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General of FEVE, who says on the matter: “Packaging is an inherent part of the product and by its design it helps consumers recognise brands and make informed choices. Unique and creative packaging shapes are a key touchpoint on the shelves for all consumers. Protecting Intellectual Property Rights is a major step forward in safeguarding creative designs and the fundamental role of packaging in product differentiation, identity, brand recognition, and value creation.”

Furthermore, we at Vetropack appreciate the European Parliament’s decision to maintain the ambitious packaging waste reduction targets while maintaining a level playing field. The Parliament’s vote mitigates against the risk that heavier but circular materials like glass are replaced by lighter packaging materials, which are harder to recycle or reuse. The Parliament also supports more ambitious recyclability measures, marking a significant milestone with the introduction of recyclability performance grades. This initiative rewards packaging that can be recycled multiple times and contributes to a closed material loop scheme. Adeline Farrelly concludes: “These grades have the potential to incentivise the use of materials like glass that is infinitely recyclable in a closed product loop.”