Transitioning to a climate neutral, circular and competitive economy

EUROPEN’s vision is based on the commitment to climate neutrality by 2050, the protection of natural resources, the acceleration of circularity and the strengthening of EU competitiveness.

EUROPEN members are leading the transformation of the packaging value chain to deliver sustainable packaging solutions. Through continuous innovation, they are striving towards reducing the carbon footprint of packaging and packaged products. They are developing optimal packaging solutions preventing resource depletion, food and product waste and packaging entering the environment. They are driving the uptake of innovative packaging design for increased reuse and recycling and contributing to the development of new sorting, collection and recycling technologies.

Achieving a strong and resilient single market for packaging and packaging goods is a key priority of EUROPEN to continue to drive investments in innovation in the packaging industry and support its sustainable transition.

Visit our membership section to learn more about our members’ sustainability commitments. For the latest innovations in packaging technologies and solutions by EUROPEN members, discover our innovation stories.

Circular Economy and Climate protection

Moving towards a circular economy is essential to securing a sustainable future.

Circularity implies the fundamental transformation of the way we produce and consume. The adoption of a circular economy model is at the heart of the transition towards a resource-efficient, competitive and climate-neutral economy. Therefore, circularity is not an end-goal but rather a key enabler for a sustainable growth.

EUROPEN members are committed to the climate neutrality goals of the Europe’s new sustainable growth strategy, the European Green Deal, and fully support the objective to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy set in the new EU Circular Economy Action Plan.

EUROPEN believes that these ambitious policy goals must be supported by robust legislation, providing a future-proof regulatory framework driving investment in innovation and ensuring stronger enforcement of legislation and its effective harmonisation across the EU.

Alongside a robust regulatory framework, the successful transition towards a climate-neutral and circular economy requires a systemic policy approach. In the case of packaging, this implies a policy focus, which spans well beyond the packaging supply chain and includes waste management infrastructure, transportation, logistics and commercial distribution as well as changes in consumer behavior.

Prevention of product and food waste

In the European Union, around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually with associated costs of 143 billion euros, according to the most recent estimate1.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization warns that one third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted. Food waste happens along the entire value chain: during production, in retail, at eating establishments and at home.

Food waste has significant negative environmental, social, and economic impacts. It represents a missed opportunity to feed the growing world population, a major waste of valuable limited natural resources and a needless source of greenhouse gas emissions that impacts climate change. Wasting food also means wasting resources and efforts put into improving the sustainability of food production.

Packaging has an essential role to play in the prevention of food waste, protecting products and minimising waste at all stages of the value chain. For example:

  • Effective packaging systems can enable efficient distribution while making sure the products they protect stay fresh longer and thus extending its shelf-life.
  • High performance packaging solutions and technologies can preserve food safety by minimizing sources of contamination and reduce food waste from spoilage.
  • Innovative packaging designs can help consumers buy and use food in portions that match their needs and reduce food waste from leftovers.

Waste prevention is a priority not only for food but all packaged products. By protecting the product, packaging also prevents waste of raw materials and natural resources that went into growing or making goods and the energy used to transport the goods from the producer to the retailer.

Preventing avoidable product losses and food waste at all stages of the supply chain is a key priority for the EUROPEN members and forms an important part of delivering a circular economy.

[1] FUSION 2016


First and foremost, packaging delivers people the products they need.

Packaging exist to deliver products to consumers and business safely, efficiently and in perfect conditions.

To protect the product, guaranteeing safety and hygiene for consumers is a key functionality of packaging. This is the first priority when it comes to food and drinks but also a multitude of other products, from personal care to cosmetics and pharma. Packaging plays a key role in protecting people’s life also through the safe delivery, preservation and use of medical treatments and medical devices.

Packaging empowers consumers to make informed choices when purchasing products, by providing information about the product and its packaging as well as their sustainable disposal for collection and sorting for reuse and recycling.

Beyond the basics, a diversity of well-designed packaging can offer consumers enormous opportunities. From health to convenience to a range of practical functionalities, packaging offers people freedom and choice tailored to their individual, family or business needs.

For the full overview of packaging functionalities, visit our About Packaging section. 


To realise our collective sustainability ambitions, we need to ensure that the EU remains competitive on the international scene.

To be successful as global climate and sustainability leader, the EU must deliver on its competitive sustainability goal, which is at the heart of the European Green Deal.

This requires a comprehensive industrial strategy resting on a well-functioning Single Market, which is the foundation of the European project and is essential to the EU’s continued prosperity.

Rigorous implementation and enforcement of the Single Market principles are key to ensure harmonised legal requirements facilitating economies of scale, long-term investments and strengthening the business case for innovative products and technologies.

To know more about the importance of the Single Market for packaging and packaging goods, visit our Policy Areas section.