Press Release
02 Mar 2016

Packaging supply chain calls for strengthened protection of the Internal Market in waste proposals

Brussels, 2 March 2016 – Ahead of Friday’s EU Environment ministerial debate on the Circular Economy Package and its waste proposals, the packaging supply chain is calling on EU policymakers to ensure that national packaging waste-related measures do not disrupt the Internal Market due to differences in interpretation and implementation.

“The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) provides for the economies of scale for private investment and innovation towards a resource-efficient Circular Economy. However, the ambition of a competitive Circular Economy would be undermined if the Internal Market does not function properly,” says EUROPEN Chairman, Martin Reynolds. "National measures that may be permitted under the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) might lead to trade barriers and fragmentation of the Internal Market for packaging and packaged goods. Therefore, the protection of the Internal Market should be strengthened by replicating the WFD’s EPR legal framework in the PPWD, which has the Internal Market as its legal base.”

Virginia Janssens, Managing Director of EUROPEN adds: “A strengthened legal framework for EPR as proposed in the WFD should also be introduced into the PPWD. This would help Member States to achieve current and future packaging recycling targets and separate collection obligations. Clear, relevant and proportionate EPR minimum requirements for packaging waste, in addition to safeguarding the Internal Market, would cater for our specific waste stream’s stakeholders, challenges and solutions. Ultimately, secondary raw material markets would be improved. Defined roles and responsibilities for each and all actors are also paramount for well-functioning national packaging waste management and should be set at Member State level.”

EUROPEN also urges EU policymakers to clarify the proposed harmonised method for calculating the combined ‘preparing for re-use’ / recycling targets in the context of packaging. In particular, the definitions and variables of the methodology in the PPWD should be clarified to ensure that reported data are robust and comparable. Urgent clarification will also avoid 28 different national interpretations and hence implementation of this proposed formula, which would hamper the Internal Market rather than achieve the harmonisation intended by the Commission.

EUROPEN’s extensive position paper on the legislative proposals for the WFD and PPWD can be found here.

EUROPEN’s top-line policy recommendations to maximise the benefits of a Circular Economy in Europe can be downloaded here.

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, 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.

EUROPEN’s Factsheet on Extended Producer Responsibility for used packaging can be downloaded here.

For enquiries, please contact:

T: +32 2 736 36 00