APEAL applauds formal approval for enhanced recyclability measures

APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, has welcomed the stricter recyclability measures endorsed by the formal adoption of the Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) voted by the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg.

The final list of measures, aimed at reducing the amount of packaging waste generated in the EU and promoting higher rates of recycling, will contribute to harmonising the internal market for packaging and achieving a more circular economy.

APEAL particularly welcomes the establishment of criteria for design for recycling, applicable to all packaging, as well as packaging recyclability performance grades, differentiating between packaging categories, by 2030.

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. The three grades of defined recyclability percentages – A, B, C (95%/80%/70%) to comply with by 2030 and two – A, B (95%/80%) by 2038, will either stimulate innovation among current poor-performers or remove them from the packaging market.

APEAL is also pleased that the eco-modulation of fees based on the recyclability performance grades has been adopted. This measure recognises the value and rewards permanent materials such as steel, that can be recycled multiple times and feed into a closed material loop scheme.

“We appreciate the strides taken and congratulate all the European Institutions for their foresight and efforts in adopting the final legislation”, commented Steve Claus, Secretary General. “However, we would have liked to see clearer clarification of packaging categories and design for recycling criteria at this stage. We look forward to dialogue with the EU institutions to determine details surrounding setting of the criteria for design for recycling per each grade.”

“We agree with the requirement that all packaging needs to be recyclable, but regret that it comes into effect only after 2030.  And that the requirement for packaging waste to be recycled at scale, meaning collected, sorted and recycled is set at a modest 55 %, which we consider insufficient,” added Metka Cavka, Head of EU Affairs.

APEAL regrets, however, 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.

As the model material for a circular economy, with 78,5% recycled in 2021, steel is ideally positioned to help the EU transition to a more circular and environmentally conscious future.

The association eagerly anticipates collaborating with all relevant stakeholders to realise these objectives.

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