The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL), European Aluminium, the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) and Metal Packaging Europe, members of the Permanent Materials Coalition, welcome the plenary adoption of the European Parliament’s own-initiative report on the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) 2.0. A cornerstone of the European Green Deal, the CEAP 2.0 is designed to strengthen the EU Economy, protect the environment and ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible.
As permanent materials, aluminium, glass and steel have the potential to be recycled over and over again, without losing their inherent properties and contribute to maintaining circular material loops. The Permanent Materials Coalition is pleased to note that Members of the European Parliament have highlighted four key issues to improve the functioning of the Circular Economy for packaging.
Permanent materials concept
Alexis Van Maercke, secretary general of APEAL, said: “We were pleased to note that today’s vote recognises the key role of permanent materials in the transition from a linear to a fully circular economy. Permanent materials that retain their inherent properties after recycling will enable Europe to keep valuable resources in an endless material loop of new products and packaging.”
Improving separate collection
Maarten Labberton, Director Packaging Group of European Aluminium, said “Today’s vote has underlined how separate collection of waste is a prerequisite for high-quality recycling. Whilst we support new measures to improve and harmonise existing collection systems and develop high-quality sorting and recycling infrastructure, these should respect best practices, local contexts and well-functioning existing systems.”
Essential role of packaging for product safety
“Packaging serves multiple functions and we are pleased that the report underlines the essential role of packaging for product safety, in particular food safety and hygiene, and for reducing food waste. Glass, aluminium and steel packaging are materials that can extend shelf-life and play an important role in this fight against food waste” said Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General of FEVE.
Key role of consumers in waste prevention and waste management
“Maximising consumer involvement in waste prevention and management is vital if we are to establish a truly circular EU economy,” commented Leonie Knox-Peebles, CEO of Metal Packaging Europe.“ The new Circular Economy Action Plan acknowledges the key role that consumers have to play here, but also recognises that Member State authorities must facilitate this, by ensuring consumers are adequately informed about how to sort and dispose of their waste and that they can do so easily and conveniently.”
The coalition has taken note of the European Parliament’s call on the Commission to propose product-specific binding targets for recycled content but believes that this demand-side driver is not effective for materials such as aluminium, glass and steel, which already have well-functioning markets for high-quality recycled materials.
The European Union is demonstrating global leadership in the drive to move from a linear to a real circular economy.With respective recycling rates of 76%, 76% and 82.5% in 2018, the aluminium, glass and steel sectors are top-performers for recycling packaging materials and are well positioned to play a key role in this transition.