New EU rules risk “tsunami” of plastic packaging


Plastic bottle recycling

DS Smith and The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) have expressed concerns about amendments to EU rules on plastic packaging that the companies say risk increasing the use of plastic packaging.

Amendments to the Commission’s proposal for a Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) are being debated by MEPs and Member States, and proposed changes include introducing mandatory reuse targets for all materials.

DS Smith highlights an analysis commissioned by FEFCO, which it says shows applying mandatory reuse targets to all materials would increase the amount of plastic packaging in circulation and establish a plastic monopoly on some market segments.

We support the aims of the Green Deal and the new legislation.

Alex Manisty, Group Head of Strategy & Innovation, DS Smith, commented: “We support the aims of the Green Deal and the new legislation, but amendments that mandate reuse targets for paper and cardboard would compromise the European corrugated cardboard industry, embed a plastic economy into the single market and hold the EU back on climate change.”

The EU is close to agreeing on new rules around packaging and packaging waste, but Multinational packaging business DS Smith says amendments to the Commission’s proposal risk “flooding the market” with millions of tonnes of new plastic. The company says the measures risk “rolling back a decade” of measures to curb plastic use.

The CPI says it is “very concerned” about the amendments, which it says fly in the face of the vast majority of public opinion that wants less plastic waste in public spaces. The Federation continues that the amendments go against the EU’s Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan. 

Too many people assume that reusable packaging must always be the right answer.

Commenting on the amendments, Andrew Large, Director General of the CPI, said: “I am very disappointed to see these amendments put forward.

“Too many people assume that reusable packaging must always be the right answer – and sometimes it will be, recyclable and reusable packaging both have a role to play – but they do not think about the massive increase in plastic that is required.

“These proposals contradict the sentiments and direction on the environment, including aspirations set out in the EU Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan.”

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