FEVE Expresses Disappointment with EU Council’s Position on Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR)

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European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) Criticizes EU Council for Overlooking Circular Packaging’s Role in Competitiveness and Sustainability

In a recent development surrounding the Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) has expressed profound disappointment with the stance taken by the Council of the European Union. This disappointment comes in stark contrast to the more favorable position adopted by the European Parliament, which acknowledged the pivotal role circular packaging plays in fostering competitiveness and driving sustainable growth. FEVE is urging co-legislators to reevaluate their approach to waste reduction targets, emphasize the protection of distinctive packaging designs, and adopt a more ambitious strategy regarding recyclability and separate collection as the inter-institutional trilogue negotiations approach.

The concerns raised by FEVE primarily revolve around the Council’s failure to recognize the substantial contribution that circular packaging can make to the competitiveness and sustainable growth of industries. Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General of FEVE, expressed deep concern over the decision to base overall packaging waste reduction targets solely on weight. This approach, while seemingly straightforward, carries the inadvertent risk of encouraging a shift from circular materials like glass to lighter alternatives that may be less recyclable or reusable.

Farrelly emphasized the need for fair effort sharing among all materials to effectively reduce packaging waste. The risk of material substitution, where industries might opt for lighter but less sustainable materials, is a significant concern. FEVE is advocating for a more comprehensive evaluation of the environmental impact of different materials, ensuring that the reduction targets don’t unintentionally incentivize a move away from circular materials like glass.

Another critical aspect that FEVE is urging co-legislators to consider is the protection of distinctive packaging designs. Farrelly highlighted the unique characteristics of glass, such as design, transparency, shapes, colors, and versatility, which contribute to the identity of a product. Restricting packaging design could result in a homogenization of products on the shelves, limiting brands’ ability to convey their identity and stand out in the market.

Additionally, FEVE proposed the introduction of recyclability performance grades, a measure that would reward packaging capable of being recycled multiple times and contributing to a closed material loop. The absence of such a provision in the Council’s position is seen as a missed opportunity to incentivize packaging that is infinitely recyclable and can sustain a circular economy effectively.

In the realm of separate collection targets, FEVE supports the notion of mandatory targets for all packaging materials. However, the Council’s decision to limit this to a small proportion of packaging formats under mandatory Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) has left the federation disappointed. FEVE contends that mandatory separate collection targets for all packaging materials would be more effective in waste reduction and could alleviate the financial burden on taxpayers and a country’s waste management costs.

As the inter-institutional trilogue negotiations loom, FEVE is calling for a reassessment of these crucial aspects to ensure that the PPWR aligns with the goals of sustainability, waste reduction, and the promotion of circular materials in the European packaging industry.

Source:  European Container Glass Federation with additional information added by GlassBalkan

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