spiritsNEWS December 2023

spiritsEUROPE welcomes institutional alignment on PPWR recognizing the sector-specific realities of the spirit drinks

The institutional alignment reached by EU Environment Ministers on PPWR duly recognizes sector-specific realities by exempting spirits from mandatory re-use targets. At the same time, the agreement includes improved provisions to safeguard packaging diversity, distinctive designs and Intellectual Property (IP) Rights.

We welcome the decision of EU Environment Ministers to exempt spirits from mandatory re-use targets and to align their approach on this point to the one taken by the European Commission and the European Parliament. This is the most sensible and sustainable approach forward – and will help preserve bottle diversity in the future while delivering real sustainability benefits on the ground”. 

While minimisation requirements will further improve the carbon footprint of packaging, such provisions should not come to the detriment of creative, innovative and distinctive packaging designs protected by Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) under EU and international legislation. spiritsEUROPE and its members welcome the improved provisions on packaging minimisation as adopted by EU Environment Ministers.

We welcome the fact that Ministers agreed improved provisions for the protection of IP Rights to safeguard packaging diversity also in the future. Against this background it is unclear to us, why the Council distinguishes between trademarks on the market and future ones – which will not get the same level of IPR protection. This may hinder innovation and artificially distinguishes products in an unhelpful way. Packaging is, and will always remain, a central pillar of spirits brands. It plays a key role in consumers’ unique experiences and competitive dynamics in the sector. We can and should not compromise on quality, functionality, brand equity and consumer preferences.

We now count on the co-legislators to agree on a reasonable and workable compromise which safeguards the existing IP Rights for iconic spirit drinks – and their bottles – and excludes them from mandatory minimization criteria whenever they could jeopardize existing IP Rights on packaging.

STAY CONNECTED: Keep up-to-date with spiritsEUROPE’s activities via our Twitter & Newsletter