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Certain pre-requisites needed to ensure the PPWR delivers

22 June 2023

Following first compromise proposals on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) by the European co-legislators, the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) is making an urgent plea to EU decision makers for ensuring that the PPWR delivers on closing the loop.

While EuRIC strongly supports amendments for mandatory collection targets and recycled content third party verification, mandatory recycled content targets and requirements on packaging recyclability are threatened to be significantly watered down. “Mandatory recycled content in all packaging polymers is essential for securing a constant demand for recycled materials against the up and downs of virgin polymers prices. Avoiding loopholes is paramount for ensuring R&D and investments in the EU”, said Sophie Sicard, President of the European Plastic Recycling Branch (EPRB) of EuRIC. “Derogations to the targets and accountability of biobased materials would not provide any solution to better manage the end-of-life of plastic packaging and must therefore be rejected”, she added.

Another threat for recyclers comes from discussions on a right of first refusal that would put a halt to recycling investment projects by questioning the ability of recyclers to cover their costs and gain access to the feedstock. As recycled materials fit for closed loop are generally more valuable due to additional treatment steps, recyclers have all environmental and economic interest in “closing the loop”. Main obstacles for circularity still lie today in lack of commitment of producers to use recycled polymers, as well as in poor packaging design for recyclability and insufficient collection. In this regard, EuRIC also underlines the need for flexibility at state level on the improvement of collection.