Packaging makers ‘still concerned’ about reuse targets in new EU law

(EurActiv, 5 Dec 2022) The European Commission’s new packaging law has drawn criticism from manufacturers, who warn against a shift of focus from recycling to reusing materials. While the new proposal is watered down, concerns remain.

The Commission’s proposal for a new packaging regulation was met with lukewarm reception from the industry, despite watered down reuse targets compared to earlier versions.

Just 20 days before the Commission tabled its proposal, a group of over 60 associations in the packaging value chain had raised the alarm to express “serious concerns” with the objectives envisaged by the EU executive.

The Commission’s “disproportionate” emphasis on refill and reuse risked jeopardising years of efforts to recycle, including “billions of euros” worth of investments in recycling infrastructure, they warned in a joint statement.

Three weeks later, the tone was more conciliatory.

The Commission proposal “begins to consider the significant contribution of recycling to the circular economy alongside reuse,” said FEFCO, the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers.

“This recognises the complementarity of both reuse and recycling systems in improving circularity,” the group said in a statement, welcoming the Commission’s “balanced approach” which also includes measures to improve packaging design for recyclability.

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EurActiv, 5 Dec 2022: Packaging makers ‘still concerned’ about reuse targets in new EU law