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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

After PPWR policymakers should sort out the remaining 97.5% of waste – EURACTIV.com

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) continues to make headlines. And rightly so. A round economic system for packaging is a crucial constructing block in realising the EU Fee imaginative and prescient of a carbon impartial Europe by 2050.

Antonello Ciotti is the president of Petcore Europe.

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) continues to make headlines. And rightly so. A round economic system for packaging is a crucial constructing block in realising the EU Fee imaginative and prescient of a carbon impartial Europe by 2050.

However we mustn’t overlook that packaging waste accounts for simply 2.5% of whole waste generated per capita. Eurostat information, not mine. Plastics packaging is lower than 1% of whole waste generated, and PET drinks bottles kind a small a part of that 1%. So as soon as PPWR is finalised, if policymakers are actually critical about tackling waste and halting leakage into the environment, they should transfer previous packaging and switch their consideration to the remaining 97.5%

Larger vigilance in imposing present legal guidelines would appear a superb place to start out. A big quantity of EU laws on waste administration has nonetheless not been absolutely transposed by member states. Lower than half of EU nations have applied landfill restrictions – some nonetheless have 60% of waste going to landfill and recycling charges of solely 40%.  That is merely not adequate. 

DG Setting produces common studies detailing the shortage of enforcement of present EU rules on waste administration and recycling by member states – notably in relation to the regulation on landfilling, unlawful burning of waste and the suitable diversion of recyclable materials from residual waste streams. The place do these studies go? Why does no person act upon them? Absolutely there may be little level in having regulation if it isn’t going to be enforced.

The effectiveness of banning landfill and incineration for recyclable materials can also be recognised independently by the OECD, and information reveals that these nations with restrictions carry out a lot better based on the waste hierarchy and valorisation of waste streams.

We might be happy to see the PPWR go into legislation.  With its deal with scale back, reuse, refill and recycle it guarantees to ship a strong framework for the gathering and recycling of packaging that may serve to shut the loop and create a round economic system.  The PET worth chain has already put in a lot of the work required due to the sport altering measures outlined within the Single Use Plastic Directive, which units clear assortment and recycling targets for PET bottles – together with segregated assortment, 90% assortment by 2029 and minimal 30% recycled content material by 2030. And we’re proving that it’s achievable. Already right this moment, one-third of EU markets obtain 90% PET assortment as a result of enabling insurance policies and infrastructure.  

Now it’s time for different packaging supplies to step as much as the plate and handle assortment, recycling and recycled content material. It is usually the second for policymakers to deal with the full waste problem – together with constructing waste, meals waste, textiles, furnishings, home goods and so on. 

As we rely right down to the European elections in Might 2024, waste might be a precedence for voters. They are going to be searching for manifesto pledges that take a holistic strategy to whole waste and recycling and political teams ought to take be aware as it’s prone to have a direct affect on their behaviour on the poll field. Sure, the completion of the PPWR on the finish of this Fee’s mandate offers a constructive story, however residents know that Europe’s waste downside goes manner past packaging and won’t be solved by piling additional regulation on the common-or-garden PET bottle. 

The PET trade stands keen to play its half however we will’t be anticipated to supply holistic options on our personal. We welcome a packaging coverage that’s science-based and favours supplies with an optimum carbon footprint at manufacturing, throughout use and at finish of life. PET bottles match the invoice right here: they’re gentle to move and wish much less vitality than alternate options to supply and recycle as a result of their low melting level. 

We at the moment are going through crunch time and European lawmakers should be daring. By addressing all waste, not simply parts of it, they’ve the chance to utterly rework the way in which by which we strategy waste within the EU27 – from product design, by to make use of, reuse and disposal. And so they simply would possibly write themselves into the historical past books within the course of.

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