APEAL welcomes ENVI support for more ambitious recyclability measures

APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, applauds the European Parliament’s Environment (ENVI) Committee support for more ambitious recyclability measures in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).

Alexis Van Maercke, Secretary General of APEAL, said: “Our industry welcomes the general approach taken by the rapporteur and the shadow rapporteurs in the ENVI committee. It is our firm belief that the current ENVI text significantly improves the Commission proposal. It reinforces circularity of packaging and ensures a level-playing field.

“Packaging plays an essential role in protecting and preserving resources such as food and reducing waste. 

“However, the value of this role can be obscured by poor recyclability and ineffective recycling, which is why the introduction of a strong definition for ‘high-quality recycling’ is an important move.”

APEAL particularly welcomes the introduction of a set of so-called ‘recyclability performance grades’ based on design for recycling criteria. Depending on its recyclability, packaging would be awarded a grade ranging from A to E, whereby the A-grade is the best-performer and E the worst. When labelled as E, the packaging format would have to be phased out within a certain time limit.

“Recyclability performance grades now introduced in the PPWR are a great step forward to a truly EU Circular Economy. These grades, a first of their kind, will reward packaging that can be recycled multiple times and that can feed into a closed material loop scheme”, said Alexis Van Maercke, Secretary General of APEAL.

APEAL also welcomed the European Commission’s ambition to link the eco-modulation of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fees with the recyclability performance grades.

“We strongly believe that permanent materials such as steel, that can be recycled again and again should be rewarded over those that cannot be recycled or only be recycled a limited number of times,” added Steve Claus, Sustainability Manager of APEAL.

However, APEAL regrets that steel pails, drums, intermediate bulk containers and canisters, packaging types remain identified as transport packaging in the proposed legislation. These packaging types are obvious examples of sales packaging and are labelled as such in national legislation and guidelines of several EU Member States. We therefore consider that these packaging types should not be subject to re-use targets for transport packaging under article 26.

APEAL is looking forward to working with all relevant stakeholders to prepare the vote in the EP plenary, and to deliver upon this ambitious legislation, enabling Europe to move decisively towards a more circular economy in line with the objectives of the European Green deal.

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