Press Release
29 May 2017

Unprecedented coalition of EU and national industries warn the Single Market for goods still needs to be defended: do not take it for granted!

Brussels, 29 May 2017 – On the eve of the start of inter-institutional negotiations on the EU Circular Economy Package, EUROPEN and 68[1] other EU and national industry associations, representing a vast range of sectors, have released a joint statement [2] urging the EU to safeguard the free movement of packaged goods. The high number of co-signatories is proof of a deep concern about Member States paving the way to effectively renationalise packaging policy in the near future, opening the door to the loss of the Single Market for all packaged goods.

This high level of concern relates to Member States’ wish to change the legal base for the review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) from the Single Market to Environmental Protection, laying the foundation for a Pandora’s box of diverging national regulations. The co-signatories urge EU policy-makers to retain the Single Market as sole legal base of the PPWD, as part of the review of the Circular Economy Package[3].

“At a time when the EU is facing unprecedented challenges, we urge all three EU Institutions to explicitly defend the free movement of goods. It is a core principle of the EU which should not be taken for granted and needs to be defended on a daily basis or it will be eroded,” said Hans Van Bochove, Coca-Cola, Chairman of EUROPEN. “Member States will be shooting themselves in the foot if they allow the Single Market for packaged goods to unravel. We would quickly end up with a patchwork of disparate national rules on packaging ending the free movement of goods and leading to trade issues between EU Member States.”

“This is not just a technical, legal question that can be swept under the carpet,” said Virginia Janssens, Managing Director of EUROPEN. “This is an important political question with serious consequences for Member States, businesses and consumers. We support the environmental goals of the Circular Economy Package. However, it is not through the fragmentation of the Internal Market that these goals will be achieved. On the contrary, a strengthened EU Single Market with the proper functioning of trade across the EU is essential to provide the necessary scale in supply chains, operations, investment and innovation for successful Circular Economy solutions.”

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.

 [1] ACE - The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, AGVU - Arbeitsgemeinschaft Verpackung und Umwelt e.V., Germany, AIDEPI - Associazione delle Industrie del Dolce e della Pasta italiane, Italy, AIM - European Brands Association, A.I.S.E. - The International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products ANFIMA - Associazione Nazionale fra i Fabbricanti di Imballaggi Metallici ed Affini, Italy, ANIA - Association Nationale des Industries Alimentaires, France, AmCham EU - American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union, APEAL - The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, ARA - Altstoff Recycling Austria AG, Austria, ARAM - Association for Packaging and the Environment, Romania, BVE - Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Ernährungsindustrie e.V,Germany, CEPI - Confederation of European Paper Industries, CEPI Eurokraft - European Producers of Sack Kraft Paper and Kraft Paper, CICPEN - Industrial Coalition on Packaging and the Environment, Czech Republic, CITPA - International Confederation of Paper and Board Converters in Europe, Corepla, Consorzio Nazionale per la Raccolta, il Riciclaggio ed il Recupero degli Imballaggi in PlasticaCosmetics Europe - The Personal Care Association CNE - Conseil National de l’Emballage, France, DSD - Der Grüne Punkt Dual System for Packaging Recycling, Germany, Eco - Emballages - Packaging Recovery Association, France,EDANA - The voice of European nonwovens industry EFBW - European Federation of Bottled Waters, ELIPSO - Les entreprises de l'emballage plastique et souple, France, Envase y Sociedad- Plataforma por la Sostenibilidad de los Envases, SpainEPRO - European Association of Plastics Recycling & Recovery Organisations, EuPC- European Plastics Converters, EUROCOMMERCE - The voice of retail and wholesale in Europe, European Aluminium, European Aluminium Foil Association e.V, European Bioplastics, EUROPEN - The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment, EUROSAC - European Federation of Multiwall Paper Sack Manufacturers, EXPRA - Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance, FCD- Fédération du Commerce et de la Distribution, FEA - European Aerosol Federation, FEBEA- Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté, France FEFCO - European Corrugated Packaging Association, FEVE - The European Container Glass Federation, FIMET - Associação Portuguesa das Industrias de Embalagens Metálicas, Portugal, Flexible Packaging Europe, FoodDrinkEurope -The organisation of Europe's food & drink industry, HDE- Handelsverband Deutschland e.V, Germany, ILEC - Institut de liaisons et d’études des industries de consommation, France, INCPEN - The Industry Council For Research On Packaging And The Environment, UK, INTERGRAF - European Federation for Print and Digital Communication, La Boîte BoissonLatas de Bebidas, Lewiatan - Business Confederation, Poland, Markenverband e.V., National Brand Association, Germany, Metal Packaging Europe, Miljöpack – The Trade & Industry Group, Sweden, MPMA - Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association, UK, MVN - Metalen Verpakkingen, The Netherlands, Pack2Go Europe - Europe’s Convenience Food Packaging Association, The Packaging Federation, UK, Pakkaus - Packaging Association, Finland, PlasticsEurope - Association of Plastics Manufacturers, Pro Carton - The European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers, REKOPOL - Recovery Organisation S.A., Poland, REPAK - Packaging Recovery Organisation, Ireland, Serving Europe - Branded Food and Beverage Service Chains Association, SLICPEN – Industrial Coalition on Packaging and the Environment, Slovakia, SNFBM - Syndicat National des Fabricants de Boîtes, Emballages & Bouchages Métalliques, France, Sociedade Ponto Verde, S.A. - Packaging Recovery Organisation, Portugal, UNESDA - Union of European Soft Drinks Associations, TIE – Toy Industries of Europe, Valpak - Environmental Compliance, Recycling and Sustainability Solutions, UK, VMV - Verband Metallverpackungen, Germany

[2] Joint statement from 69 National and EU industries calling to safeguard the Internal Market for Packaging and Packaged Goods in the Circular Economy Package
[3] In a separate paper, EUROPEN has argued the importance of the Internal Market legal base, including industry examples showcasing the relevance of the Internal Market legal base for the PPWD: The environmental and economic objectives of the packaging and packaging waste directive will be better served by preserving the Internal Market as its sole legal base, April 2017, EUROPEN

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