APEAL welcomes vote in favour of stricter recyclability measures

APEAL (the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging) has welcomed the European Parliament (EP) plenary vote in favour of stricter recyclability measures inside the Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).

Commending the European Commission’s ambitious proposal for these original measures, APEAL acknowledges the efficiency demonstrated by the rapporteur, MEP Frédérique Ries, and the shadow rapporteurs throughout the EP procedure.

Recyclability performance grades

APEAL particularly supports the packaging recyclability performance grades. The introduction of a performance grading system with clear criteria is the first of its kind, and essential to ensure packaging materials that are designed for recycling, but also effectively collected, sorted, and recycled at scale.

“Recyclability performance grades represent a significant stride towards realising a truly circular EU economy. These grades, combining quantitative thresholds and qualitative recyclability criteria, are poised to stimulate innovation,” 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 welcome the application of the net cost principle per packaging type, principle whereby the EPR financial contributions are based on the real net cost of collection, sorting, and recycling or recovery of the packaging,” commented Steve Claus, sustainability manager of APEAL. 

High-quality recycling

We welcome the definition of high-quality recycling, which serves as a catalyst for packaging manufacturers to elevate the recyclability of their products, contributing to a more effective and efficient recycling process.

Reuse targets

APEAL regrets that steel pails, drums, intermediate bulk containers, and canisters are classified as transport packaging in the proposed legislation. These packaging types are clear examples of sales packaging, which are consumed by the end-user and explicitly labeled as sales packaging in national legislation and guidelines of several EU Member States. However, we welcome that the 2040 re-use targets for these applications have been deleted.

No recyclable packaging to landfill

But to fully close the loop, further action is still required. In line with the waste hierarchy, which places waste disposal through landfills as the least preferred option, the measures provided for under this Regulation should be complemented by a review of the Landfill Directive with the aim to accelerate the phasing-out of landfill of packaging waste.

As the model material for a circular economy, with 85,5% recycled in 2020, steel is ideally positioned to reach ambitious but achievable recycling rates by 2025 and help the EU transition to a more circular and environmentally conscious future.

APEAL looks forward to the trilogue discussion with the Council and Commission. and calls upon the Council of the EU to ensure it preserves circularity, environmental protection, and the conservation of EU resources. The association eagerly anticipates collaborating with all relevant stakeholders to realise these objectives.

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