17 Dec 2021

The packaging industry advocates for the creation of an EU harmonised model for consumer sorting instructions

Today, the packaging industry issued a joint proposal to establish an EU harmonised model for consumer sorting instructions as part of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) revision.

In order to boost a circular economy and achieve the EU (packaging) recycling targets by 2025/2030, the collection rates in the EU must increase. Alongside industry’s efforts to establish a better and more efficient collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure for post-consumer waste and to continuously improve packaging eco-design, it is now essential to engage consumers to achieve this goal. This can be done by improving the separate waste collection rate at consumer level, increasing consumers’ awareness about the need to sort and recycle, making sorting easy for consumers, and including them as relevant actors in the circular management of waste.

EUROPEN, together with 39 other associations from the packaging value chain representing multiple economic sectors, shared its joint proposal with the European Commission to put forward a concrete and actionable solution to establish an easy and understandable system for correct sorting at source.

The review of the PPWD represents a unique opportunity to set common requirements on which information should be provided to consumers for sorting instructions and how this should be done in a harmonised way.

The broad endorsement of this proposal is a strong signal that the multitude of national packaging sorting instructions is not helping to improve consumer awareness nor recycling. The proposal indicates the principles needed to develop a clear and simple system, harmonised at EU level, which could leverage the most effective features of existing national schemes.