Brewers urge MEPs to agree level playing field for packaging rules

Brewers urge MEPs to agree level playing field for packaging rules

The Brewers of Europe - News release

Brussels, October 24, 2023 – The Brewers of Europe today urged the full European Parliament to ensure measures on packaging legislation apply fairly, protecting the EU’s Single Market and its sustainability aims.

A vote today by the Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on new EU packaging rules failed to remove measures that discriminate against brewers.

The MEPs were voting on the draft Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), which aims to reduce the environmental impact of packaging. The Brewers of Europe, which represents the interests of some 10,000 breweries in the EU, back the overall aims of the legislation but say that its ambitions will be compromised by the legislation as currently drafted. In its current draft, the PPWR grants certain alcoholic beverage sectors total, and arbitrary exemptions from reuse targets and mandatory deposit return systems (DRS).

When MEPs meet in their full plenary, they need to change the proposal. They need to ensure it does not favour some sectors over others,” says The Brewers of Europe Director Simon Spillane. “If unchanged, these measures would not only damage the economy and distort the Single Market, but they would also undermine the sustainability aims of the proposal.

Brewers have already taken steps to reduce, reuse and recycle across their production and distribution chains. We believe in a true European circular economy and in legislation that cuts needless packaging. Beer brewers on average already sell more than half their production in reusable packaging, be it kegs or glass beer bottles. The other packaging uses recycled content and is typically recycled at very high levels due to its collection through well established systems.

But we need legislation to be proportionate, well-targeted, non-discriminatory and coherent. We urge MEPs to resolve the issues that risk undermining both the EU’s Single Market and the sustainability aims it proclaims.

The PPWR is now expected to be voted on by the full European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg at the end of November.


Simon Spillane, Director,

About The Brewers of Europe:

Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000+ breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.