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Circular economy 'needs to consider packaging'

Trade body PlasticsEurope has called for a landfill ban on recyclable and other recoverable post-consumer waste by 2025 to be implemented under the EU’s circular economy (CE) package.

It said that only a binding EU landfill restriction by 2025 will provide the legal certainty required for investment in waste management infrastructure. Its research has shown that a landfill ban on plastics alone would result in an extra five million tonnes of plastic waste being recycled annually by 2025, an increase of almost 80% within 10 years.

PlasticsEurope made the call in a submission to the EU consultation on the CE package. The organisation is also one of 28 packaging-related bodies that have jointly proposed six measures to the EU to help move towards a CE.

The organisations involved included Repak, Valpak, Incpen, the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations, and European Bioplastics. They argued that packaging plays a positive role in a CE by optimising resource use and minimising waste.

The document said: “Packaging is cross-sectoral and, in order to perform its functions, the full life cycle of the packaging, intrinsically connected with the product it contains, and value chain must be considered in its entirety.”

The joint document calls for:

  • Safeguarding the free movement of packaging and packaged goods in the EU’s internal market to provide security for businesses to invest and roll-out innovations
  • Ensuring the full implementation and enforcement of existing EU laws, particularly the Waste Framework Directive and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD)
  • Strengthening the legal framework for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for used packaging and introducing a clear definition of EPR in the PPWD
  • Establishing a solid, comparable and harmonised calculation method for measuring and reporting national packaging recycling rates
  • Realistic and achievable packaging recycling targets, after setting a clear starting point to ensure that changes would bring real economic and environmental benefits
  • Promoting the diversion of packaging materials from landfill in favour of recycling and/or energy recovery

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