Press Release
16 Jan 2018

EUROPEN welcomes EU Plastics Strategy’s call for strengthened and harmonised packaging waste management systems in Europe

Brussels, 16 January 2018 – EUROPEN welcomes the EU’s Plastics Strategy as an important contribution towards achieving the objectives of a Circular Economy and tackling (marine) littering. EUROPEN will support and actively contribute to additional EU measures that may flow from the Strategy with regard to packaging to leverage the recently strengthened Waste Framework (WFD) and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directives (PPWD).

“We remain committed to strengthening the sustainability of all aspects of the packaging value chain and supporting EU efforts towards a Circular Economy,” commented Hans Van Bochove, Coca-Cola, and EUROPEN Chairman. “Harmonising and strengthening our waste management systems across Europe, in line with what has just been agreed by the EU in the WFD and PPWD, is rightly indicated as a key priority. We are pleased to see Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) recognised as playing a key part in strengthening packaging waste management in Europe, which EUROPEN has supported from the outset.”

“EU minimum requirements for EPR will increase accountability for all private and public stakeholders”, Hans van Bochove continues. “If implemented well, EPR and modulated EPR fees play an important role in creating incentives for producers’ packaging design choices and boost innovation in the packaging supply chain.”

“The end-of-life phase of packaging is intrinsically connected with the functionality of the different packaging materials, as part of a packaged product. A life-cycle and evidence-based approach is well captured in the Strategy and will remain fundamental in its ensuing actions.” said Virginia Janssens, Managing Director of EUROPEN. “We will further contribute with holistic and harmonised solutions and to help avoid unintended consequences on, e.g. packaging materials, products, regulatory frameworks, value chain actors including consumers, food safety and consumer health, food waste and the Internal Market”.

Another key factor to reach the ambitious objectives set by the Plastics Strategy is increasing education and further awareness-raising campaigns among consumers. “The Strategy rightly recognises the required multi-stakeholder effort to further promote correct disposal behaviours to reduce littering,” continued Virginia Janssens.

EUROPEN members are committed to continuous environmental improvement and investment in innovative packaging systems and solutions to meet the evolving needs of our modern societies. Recent voluntary actions from EUROPEN members include investments in recyclability, recycled content, resource efficiency, material sourcing, design optimisation, and the encouragement of correct disposal. EUROPEN looks forward to continuing to work constructively with the EU institutions to help ensure that the Circular Economy Package and its Action Plan deliver tangible, sustainable and competitive benefits for the European environment, economy and society.

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Notes for Editors:

EUROPEN -- the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment -- is an EU industry association in Brussels presenting the opinion of the packaging supply chain in Europe on issues related to packaging and the environment, without favouring any specific material or system. EUROPEN members are comprised of multinational corporate companies spanning the packaging value chain (raw material producers, converters and brand owners) plus national packaging organizations all committed to continuously improving the environmental performances of packaged products, in collaboration with their suppliers and customers.