Press Release
03 Jul 2014

EUROPEN welcomes promotion of circular economy while safeguarding the internal market in EU waste proposals

Packaging supply chain welcomes acknowledgment of the internal market, regrets lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities for Extended Producer Responsibility and unjustified cost burden on producers.

Brussels, 3 July 2014 – The packaging supply chain in Europe supports the objective of promoting resource efficiency and a circular economy, and welcomes the acknowledgement in the Commission proposal of the importance of maintaining the integrity of internal market while achieving these objectives.

“It is important to note that this proposal relates not only to packaging but also to packaged goods,” said Martin Reynolds, Chairman of EUROPEN. “EUROPEN is pleased that the proposal recognises the importance of safeguarding the free movement of packaged goods in the internal market, which is a cornerstone of the European Union. Confidence in the internal market for packaged goods is fundamental for investment, innovation and economic growth in Europe. Therefore, we welcome the Commission’s intention to remain vigilant about national measures that may distort the internal market.”

EUROPEN emphasises that meeting packaging waste targets is a joint effort, and regrets that the proposal does not define roles and responsibilities for all actors who are together responsible for ensuring the targets are met. EUROPEN considers that defining such roles and responsibilities at EU level is necessary to drive cost-efficiency and accountability and, along with the minimum performance criteria, to ensure a level playing field among economic actors and different packaging recovery organisation (PRO) models.

“The packaging supply chain recognises that Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has been implemented differently in most Member States, and therefore encourages EU decision-makers to appropriately define the roles and responsibilities of all actors, when EPR is applied,” said Virginia Janssens, Managing Director of EUROPEN. She stresses that “producer responsibility should be clearly defined and limited to cover the net cost of collection and sorting for recycling and recovery of used packaging. The current proposal fails to properly assess financial impacts, imposing potentially unlimited costs on producers without defining the roles and responsibilities of all actors in the packaging value chain.”

EUROPEN notes both the proposed changes to the packaging waste targets and calculation method and considers that restructuring these targets needs careful assessment to ensure they are achievable. EUROPEN believes that proper evaluation is needed to assess how the proposed calculation method might affect the baseline recycling and recovery rates for packaging materials in the Member States.

EUROPEN sees the EU waste targets review as an important step towards a more competitive and resource-efficient economy, provided financial responsibilities are appropriately shared and clarified for all actors involved in the collection, sorting and recycling of used packaging. We welcome the opportunity to continue working with EU decision-makers towards this objective, while safeguarding the Internal Market for packaging and packaged products.

For all enquiries, please contact:  EUROPEN
T: +32 2 736 36 00 - Email: - Website:  

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 six national packaging organizations all committed to continuously improving the environmental performances of packaged products, in collaboration with their suppliers and customers.