FEVE, the European Federation of glass packaging and glass tableware makers, has released a position paper regarding Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). EPR schemes should, in fact, operate to implement the EU’s Waste Hierarchy with the priority aim of effectively recycling waste and transforming it into new resources for the producing industry.
Packaging material producers, to the same extent as producers and importers of packaged goods and retailers have the legal and financial responsibility to ensure that their products are effectively collected and recycled at the end of their life through the appropriate national EPR schemes. They should therefore have – or continue to have – a full view of how effectively financial resources are used.
EPR schemes should operate to implement the EU’s Waste Hierarchy with the priority aim of effectively recycling waste and transforming it into new resources for the producing industry. Clear and common definitions of collection, recovery, closed loop recycling versus downcycling should be added to the existing ones.
The appropriate collection schemes should be designed by taking into consideration the national and local implications, as well as material characteristics. All stakeholders, including the packaging material producers should be fully involved in the designing of appropriate schemes or the adaptation of existing ones. Separated collection schemes should be acknowledged as good practice.
National reporting systems of waste collection and recycling should be based on common definitions. Reported information should include minimum requirements, e.g. scope (geographic scope, types of packaging material to be covered, population covered), transparency (material flows, actually recycled versus recovered rate per material and stream/source, cost, tendering procedures), consumer information, monitoring, reporting and audits, and financial solidity. Post-consumer (household and similar) packaging waste should be separated by industrial, commercial (not similar to household) and institutional (IC&I) packaging waste sources to ensure a level playing field, fair competition and avoid cherry picking.
FEVE is the European Federation of glass packaging and glass tableware makers. Founded in 1977 and headquartered in Brussels, FEVE is an international not-for-profit association, which currently numbers over 60 company members and 22 corporate groups across the European Union, Switzerland and Turkey.
Glass closed loop recycling is a concrete example of collaboration along the whole chain from the consumer, passing through the collection, the treatment and final recycling into a new bottle. This system is in place since 40 years in the EU. More than 71% of glass bottles and jars are collected for recycling in Europe. More needs to be done to close the gap to 100% collection and recycling.