EUROPEN comments on today’s European Parliament vote on Single Use Plastics

Brussels, 24 October 2018 – Today the European Parliament adopted its report on single-use plastics (SUP). EUROPEN supports measures that address the problem of plastic pollution effectively, that are harmonised and implementable by Member States and industry. We reiterate the packaging supply chain’s ongoing commitments and investments to improve the circularity of all packaging, including plastics. We are concerned that certain elements of the EP Resolution adopted today have not been adequately examined and might not achieve the SUP’s objectives.

“We regret the EP’s removal of the Internal Market safeguards for SUP measures that cover packaging items, as this will weaken policy coherence with other EU rules on waste and packaging. The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive with its harmonised Essential Requirements should remain the sole appropriate legislation governing design and marking requirements applicable to all packaging, said Virginia Janssens, EUROPEN Managing Director. She continued: “Likewise, the Waste Framework Directive should remain the sole, appropriate legal text to address producers’ extended responsibility, in line with nationally-defined roles and responsibilities of all concerned actors. Incentives should be placed on all value chain partners, based on what each actor can control, to ensure cost-effective results. This should be no different for measures related to litter clean-up”.

“For many years, the packaging supply chain has invested substantially in increasing separate collection and sorting for packaging waste, which helps avoid littering and helps circularity”, commented EUROPEN Chairman Hans van Bochove. He continued: “We see significant investment from producers in empowering consumers by contributing financially towards disposal and anti-littering awareness-raising campaigns, and by driving product, material and recycling innovation that support the transition to a circular economy. Legal clarity is essential to underpin these investments, but is lacking in this instance, for example with regard to which packaging falls under the SUP scope and which not. In addition, design requirements with significant impact such as the tethered caps proposal should be based on established facts and a thorough impact assessment.”

EUROPEN members from the plastics packaging supply chain have launched their corporate voluntary commitments on recycled content for plastics, as part of the EU pledging exercise aimed at achieving 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic by 2025. These public voluntary commitments on recycled content for plastics will help achieve the framework conditions for a more circular packaging value chain, such as the availability at competitive prices and quality of recycled plastics, essential among others to ensure food safety. The SUP proposal should support, not undermine, these important efforts.

EUROPEN calls on the EU’s co-legislators to take the time to evaluate carefully the real impacts of the legislative proposal on SUP to ensure it delivers the intended environmental objectives in a harmonised EU Internal Market. 


About EUROPEN
EUROPEN - The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment - is a cross-industry organization presenting the opinion of the packaging supply chain (i.e. raw material producers, converters and brand owners plus national packaging organizations) in Europe on topics related to packaging, packaging waste and the environment, independent of specific packaging materials or systems. www.europen-packaging.eu

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