News from Brussels, Strasbourg and Berlin

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In our policy section this time we focus on the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the Green Claims Regulation, the Single-Use Plastics Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act and the further timetable for the new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).


Short info: Publication CSRD

With its publication on December 16, 2022, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive has been adopted and applies. The member states now have 18 months (until July 6, 2024) to transpose the directive into their national law. The reporting standards are still in draft form and are scheduled for final adoption in June 2023. Now is the time for a CSRD readiness check. See also our article “The 6-point plan for your “Regulation-Readiness” in this newsletter.


Brief info: Postponement of the Green Claim Regulation

The EU Commission has postponed the presentation of the draft Green Claims Directive indefinitely. Sources assume that the draft will be published on March 22, 2023.

The central point of the directive is a proposal for a Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), which is intended to measure the environmental impact of products and could set the framework for the planned labeling policy. The basic aim is to provide a clear framework for green claims – from “… more sustainable than …” to “climate neutral”.

As part of the amendment to the EU Consumer Protection Regulation, the use of green claims is to be regulated more closely in the future so that no greenwashing is associated with it.

In prohibiting unsubstantiated claims and environmental claims, the Commission focuses on:

  • vague environmental promises without verifiable commitments or independent oversight;
  • Climate seal without a certification system or without parameters set by the state;
  • misleading or inaccurate advertising claims such as “CO2 -neutral” or “climate-positive” as well as
  • Environmental claims for the whole product that in reality refer to only a small part of the product.


Brief info: Consultation on the Single-Use Plastic Fund Act.

The German government’s planned Single-Use Plastics Fund Act remains controversial. Local authorities and environmental protection associations do not think the planned levy on certain single-use plastic products goes far enough, while the industry concerned considers the level of the special levy of 434 million euros per year (from 2025) to be excessive.

According to the bill, the cost of collecting and cleaning certain single-use plastic products in public spaces would be redistributed to about 55,000 businesses through a special state levy. The products affected include disposable plastic packaging for to-go food and beverages, carrier bags, balloons, wet wipes and tobacco products with filters.


Brief info: Rejection of the Whistleblower Protection Act in the Bundesrat (upper house of parliament)

On February 10, 2023, the federal states led by the CDU/CSU rejected the bill passed by the Bundestag and thus referred it to the Mediation Committee.

The planned Whistleblower Protection Act is to apply to companies with at least 50 employees. Germany would have had to transpose the underlying EU directive into national law by December 2021.

Until further notice, the requirements of European law will remain in force for companies with 250 or more employees (from January 1, 2022) and for companies with 50 or more employees (from December 17, 2023). We already explained what this means for companies in our B+P Newsletter at the end of 2021.


Quick info: Progress of the new PPWR

The draft of the new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) was published by the Commission on November 30, 2022. The feedback period ended on April 24, 2023, and the associations are in the process of submitting their proposals and criticisms.

Next up is the so-called trialogue between the EU Parliament, the Commission and the member states.  The EU Parliament has appointed its negotiator. It is the Belgian Frédérique Ries, who has already negotiated the Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD).

Negotiations are located in the Environment Committee of the Parliament, which speaks for an ambitious position of the Parliament.

According to the schedule, the PPWR is expected to be finally adopted before May 2024.

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