While the European recycling industry strongly supports the proposal, certain barriers and loopholes for more circular packaging still need to be overcome, according to the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC).
First and foremost, it is of overarching importance to ensure recyclability of all packaging placed on the market in the EU as soon as possible. Building on existing mature design for recycling (DfR) criteria, a stringent timeframe is required for the development and applicability of DfR criteria and recyclability at scale. Stricter rules are also needed on compostable packaging for being allowed to be placed on the market in the EU. As proposed, the current provisions would send an unclear sorting message to consumers and disrupt functioning plastic sorting and recycling processes.
As a key driver for more circular packaging in the EU, binding minimum recycled content targets are paramount for investment and planning stability in the recycling sector. Derogations based on prices or availability would contradict the logic of binding targets in the first place and hamper the transition towards a more circular economy. At the same time, the achievement of binding targets shall be ensured through ambitious packaging collection targets of minimum 80% for all packaging types applicable in all Member States by 2029.
Finally, EuRIC calls for strong guarantees to be added for ensuring a fair and competitive waste management market, preventing abuses of dominant positions through preferential access to materials and for achieving the transition to more sustainable packaging at best possible costs for consumers.