Brussels, 15 March 2017 – Following the European Parliament’s plenary vote on legislative proposals amending the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), EUROPEN and 35 other associations1 representing a wide range of sectors including retailers, consumer goods brands, packaging producers, material producers and extended producer responsibility (EPR) organisations, have announced joint recommendations in view of the forthcoming inter-institutional negotiations on the Circular Economy Package.
The 36 organisations call on the EU institutions to seek an agreement that strikes the right balance between the environmental and economic objectives of the Circular Economy package that is evidence-based and workable in practice. Importantly, the organisations call to maintain the EU Internal Market as the sole legal base (article 114 TFEU) for the PPWD to safeguard the free circulation of packaging and packaged goods. This is a pre-condition to ensure the scale and unlock investments needed to achieve tangible and sustainable benefits for European citizens, businesses and society as a whole.
“This legislation is of critical importance to many industries that depend on packaging to ensure the quality and safety of their products when delivered across the EU to the final consumer,” said Hans van Bochove of Coca- Cola European Partners and EUROPEN Chairman. “We welcome the Parliament’s vote, which safeguards the integrity of the Internal Market in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. This is crucial to give the packaging supply chain the security and scale to invest in green innovations,” underlined Mr van Bochove.
The joint industry recommendations2 , announced in view of the upcoming inter-institutional negotiations, call on the Parliament, Council and Commission to ensure that the Circular Economy Package:
- Maintains the EU Internal Market as the sole legal base (article 114 TFEU) for the PPWD to safeguard the free circulation of packaging and packaged goods;
- Ensures Extended – not Endless – Producer Responsibility for packaging waste management, clearly demarcating their responsibilities and related costs;
- Develops an EU harmonised calculation methodology with clarified definitions and robust data prior to assessing the feasibility of setting quantitative targets for reusable packaging;
- Sets packaging recycling targets that are realistic and achievable with clear and EU harmonised definitions and packaging recycling calculation method.
“We are encouraged by the Parliament’s vote to keep the EU EPR general requirements in the proposal and hope that the Council acknowledges this important signal,” said Virginia Janssens, EUROPEN Managing Director. “Our industries are particularly pleased with Parliament’s efforts to demarcate the producer’s responsibility, thereby recognising the shared responsibility and accountability of all stakeholders involved in national EPR implementation. EUROPEN looks forward to continuing to work constructively with the EU institutions in view of the forthcoming negotiations to help ensure that the Circular Economy can be implemented in a proper and resource-efficient manner”, she concluded.