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New Packaging and Packaging Waste Law in Spain

March 6, 2023

The new Royal Decree, 1055/2022 on packaging and packaging waste, has replaced the previous Law 11/1997 in Spain. Due to the significant time span between the two laws, substantial changes present new challenges for packaging producers and compliance schemes. As with any new legal requirement, collection, and recycling targets are increasing to move closer to a real circular economy.

One major development that has the potential to impact packaging design throughout Europe is that the Green Dot trademark has become voluntary in the last EU country. Another labeling requirement that producers had anticipated is the indication for private end-customers of which waste bin to use for which packaging element. Indications to that end will become mandatory starting on January 1, 2025. The background to their introduction is to improve sorting before waste collection. There is no uniform set of indications to be used, so anyone is free to develop and use markings they deem appropriate. Ecoembes has developed such markings and allows its customers to apply them.

The Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has established a portal for producers to register, indicating the packaging types as well as quantities placed on the market and the compliance solutions used per packaging type. However, foreign producers need help completing the registration by the March 29 deadline. They must appoint an authorized representative to complete the process on their behalf in the Register of Producers of Products. But, the interface between the Spanish parties involved needs to catch up, making it challenging for foreign producers to become compliant by the end of March.

Commercial and industrial packaging has also been brought under the scope of the packaging law, which was previously excluded. Schemes may apply for licenses with the Ministries until the end of this year, and approved schemes must be available by the end of 2024. From then on, producers introducing non-household packaging to Spain will need to financially cover the disposal of commercial and industrial packaging wastes in the scope of their declarations of quantities placed on the market.

The new law has brought about other requirements, such as eco-modulation, where fees per material will soon reward materials with improved recyclability. If you would like to learn more about the changes to the Spanish packaging law or your Extended Producer Obligations as a vendor to various markets, feel free to contact us anytime.

Please find here more information on how we help producers, importers, and other obligated parties achieve full compliance.

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