Packaging industry launches joint recommendations for resource-efficient Circular Economy

EUROPEN and 35 other associations representing a wide range of sectors including major consumer goods brands, packaging producers, material producers and extended producer responsibility (EPR) organisations, announced today a set of joint recommendations for the Circular Economy legislative proposals.

The 36 associations call for a long-term ambitious EU policy framework that enables and facilitates sustainable resource use from a full life-cycle perspective, incentivises economies of scale and takes into account value chains at all levels, each with their different functional needs, supply and demand realities.
“Our proposals aim at reinforcing the current EU policy framework, preserving the environment and re-launching European competitiveness, quality jobs and sustainable growth”, said Martin Reynolds, Crown Europe and EUROPEN Chairman, “Packaging plays a central role in a Circular Economy by optimising resource use and minimising product waste. We call on the EU to recognise its cross-sectoral function by preserving a full life-cycle approach in legislation, since packaging is intrinsically connected to the product it contains and its value chain”, underlined Reynolds.
The joint industry recommendations, announced today,** call on the European Parliament and the Council to ensure that the Circular Economy Package:
•    Safeguards the free movement of packaging and packaged goods in the EU Internal Market;
•    Enshrines a full life-cycle approach;
•    Strengthens the EU legal framework for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for used packaging;
•    Avoids legal requirements that mandate additional packaging reuse systems alongside existing EPR systems and avoid related national measures that will distort the Internal Market
•    Sets realistic and achievable packaging “preparing for reuse”/recycling targets based on known staring points, as well as a harmonised and clarified measurement point and calculation methodology.
 “Safeguarding the Internal Market is essential to give companies in the packaging value chain the confidence to invest and innovate to meet the environmental, growth, and competitiveness objectives of the Circular Economy Package. We must avoid measures that could lead to divergent national packaging design requirements, as these would create de facto trade barriers for all packaged goods”, said Virginia Janssens, EUROPEN Managing Director, “Instead, we need a robust, evidence-based European framework that sets ambitious yet realistic targets, is based on a harmonised calculation method and enables operators to build on over two decades of success in growing packaging recycling rates through efficient, transparent and fair Extended Producer Responsibility schemes”, concluded Janssens.