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Packaging waste is an important and growing waste stream. The amended Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive has recently been adopted, and work is underway to develop EU thematic strategies on waste prevention and recycling and on the sustainable use and management of natural resources. The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (hereafter: packaging directive) is one of the few environmentally-related directives to contain directly measurable, quantitative targets. It has now been in place for ten years and this is an opportune time to take stock of this important policy area. The EEA has conducted a pilot study of the effectiveness of packaging waste management systems in five EU Member States with the aim of gaining practical and concrete experience of ex-post policy effectiveness evaluation, and to track progress in this policy area.