April, 2014


Dear Colleagues, 

2014 marks an important milestone for unlocking Europe’s potential for a competitive and resource efficient economy. New proposals on a ‘circular economy’, with a particular focus on better waste management to make smarter use of resources and possibly new EU waste management targets, are expected before summer. The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) is of key importance for EUROPEN members, as it is fundamental for guaranteeing the free movement of packaging and packaged products, as well as for increasing the environmental performance of packaged products. In this regard, EUROPEN sees the review of EU waste management targets as an opportunity to ensure the continued relevance and effectiveness of the PPWD in a changed regulatory and market setting. In the run up to this important proposal, EUROPEN has re-launched the Packaging Chain Forum and supported a multi-stakeholder workshop with EurActiv on Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging waste (see below).

OPEN – the EUROPEN Newsletter brings you news and policy updates relevant to packaging and the environment. This edition's “EUROPEN Member in the Spotlight” section features Dow’s vision for the future of sustainable innovations for packaged products from a material supplier’s perspective. Other EUROPEN members will be featured in this space. In the meantime, you can learn more about our members through their sustainability reports, links to which can be found on our website.

If you have any questions, comments or news to share, please feel free to contact us at packaging@europen-packaging.eu. 

Kind regards,
Virginia Janssens
Managing Director

EU Policy Updates

EU waste targets review: a key opportunity for ‘better regulation’ and ‘better implementation’

William Neale, Member of Cabinet for Commissioner Janez Potočnik, speaking with EUROPEN’s Council of Members

Significant market and regulatory changes have occurred since the last review of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) and Member States continue to implement the PPWD in divergent ways, creating challenges for the packaging supply chain in an already difficult economic context. “This legislative initiative is an opportunity for ‘better regulation’ and ‘better implementation’,” said EUROPEN Managing Director, Virginia Janssens at the 21st Annual Packaging Waste & Sustainability Forum in Brussels. She continued,“The PPWD is still a successful and effective legislative framework for driving recycling and recovery of all used packaging, but it needs to be fully implemented and adapted to the current regulatory and market setting. EUROPEN members see the review of EU waste management targets as a key opportunity to ensure that the PPWD remains a key driver of resource efficiency and competitiveness for packaging and packaged goods in a Single European market."


Stakeholders call on Commission to propose minimum legal requirements on EPR for packaging waste in the PPWD

A broad consensus emerged among stakeholders on the need for minimum requirements on extended producer responsibility (EPR) at a EurActiv workshop on EPR for packaging waste, supported by EUROPEN on 18 March in Brussels. During the panel discussions, key stakeholders– municipalities, EPR schemes, NGOs and the obliged industry – were encouraged by the Commission’s focus on EPR and called on the Commission to provide legal clarity on EPR for packaging waste. Currently, there is no EU definition of EPR and only a loose definition of shared responsibilities of economic operators in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), which has led to a patchwork of different national approaches to EPR for packaging waste and a wide variation in compliance costs.  


European Commission backs away from stand-alone Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) pilot on packaging

“While it was an initial idea, we will not have a specific pilot on packaging as a stand-alone product unless such a pilot is proposed by industry. Following discussions with EUROPEN, we understand that packaging needs to be seen in the context of the packaged product,” said Michele Galatola, DG Environment Project Team Leader of the European Commission’s Environmental Footprint initiative, at the 21st Annual Packaging Waste & Sustainability Forum (4-5 March 2014). Packaging cannot be evaluated separately from the packaged product it serves to protect, EUROPEN argues in its Guidance on how to address packaging and packaging waste in the context of the European Commission Product Environmental Footprint methodology. The packaged product determines the functionalities which packaging must provide, such as to prevent damage and product loss. 


EUROPEN member in the spotlight

Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics – The right pack starts with the right material

“There is clearly still a need to counter complaints that there is too much packaging, and that packaging is a waste of both money and materials. Dow remains focused on designing smarter materials of which you need as little as possible to do the packaging job. And we continue to work on the development of new materials, allowing for easier recycling,” states Dana Mosora, Sr Value Chain and Sustainability Leader EMEA of Dow Europe. 

Producing materials that advance food packaging lies close to our hearts. Dow’s Packaging & Specialty Plastics supports customers around the world to create better packaging. We’ve taken a value chain approach, allowing us to better understand what features are needed to protect food, to enable easy transportation, to allow for easy opening and efficient packaging of food products and to prevent food spoilage. Next to these packaging functionalities, we ensure compliance with the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive’s Essential Requirements, which relate to, for example, safety and hygiene and minimizing the volume and weight of packaging, as well as reducing the impact of disposed packaging on the environment.


EUROPEN Publications

EUROPEN analysis on Packaging and Packaging Waste Statistics 1998-2011

Available for FREE on EUROPEN website.

EUROPEN report on Economic Instruments

Soon to be released, available for Members only or can be purchased

Where you can meet us

Please take the time to introduce yourself to us at one of the following conferences where we will be presenting or attending

  • 1 April 2014: How is Extended Producer’s Responsibility progressing? – New Packaging Recovery and Recycling Targets in the EU, Budapest
  • 10 April 2014: Waste and packaging - actual situation and practices, legislation after 2014, seminar organised by the environment committee in the Parliament of the Czech Republic 
  • 13 May 2014: Finnish Food & Drink Industries’ Congress, Helsinki
  • 17-19 June 14: OECD, Global Forum on Environment: Promoting the Circular Economy – Extended Producer Responsibility, Tokyo 
  • 15 October 2014: EMPACK, Stockholm

Calendar for EUROPEN Members

Next meeting dates 2014

  • Executive Committee: 25 June, 16 September, 8 December 
  • Sustainability & Regulatory Affairs Committee: 22 May, 20 November 
  • Packaging Chain Forum: June/July 2014 (TBC)
  • Council of Members: 14 October

EUROPEN Membership

New EUROPEN Members

From left to right: Jean-Paul Duquet, Bel Group, Mariagiovanna Vetere, NatureWorks LLC, Paolo Pusceddu, COESIA SpA, Hans van Bochove, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc.

We are pleased to welcome the following companies to the EUROPEN family: 

  1. Bel Group is a dairy producer that specializes in the creation, production and sale of branded cheeses. Read more about sustainability at Bel Group 
  2. Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc is one of the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottlers. Their portfolio encompasses a full range of beverage categories, including energy drinks, still and sparkling waters, juices and juice drinks, sports drinks, and ready-to-drink teas. Read more about sustainability at Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. 
  3. COESIA SPA is a group of innovation-based industrial solutions companies operating globally, headquartered in Bologna, Italy. Coesia’s companies are leaders in the sectors of advanced automated machinery, industrial process solutions and precision gears. Read more about sustainability at COESIA.
  4. NatureWorks LLC is a bio-plastics suppliers that is the first to offer a family of commercially available biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources that uses carbohydrates from plants as feedstock for more sustainable plastics. Read more about sustainability at NatureWorks.

Not a EUROPEN member yet?

Changes to a key piece of EU legislation for any company that is actively committed to improving the environmental performance of their packaging and packaged products in a European single market are in the pipeline. Companies need to stay aware of how it will affect their business and how their voices can be heard in a cost-effective way. As an authoritative and trusted voice of the packaging supply chain as a whole for the EU decision-makers, engaging through EUROPEN is instrumental,” states EUROPEN Chairman Martin Reynolds.

What can EUROPEN membership bring to your business? 

  • Insight and analysis on EU policy developments and their potential impact on the packaging supply chain
  • Participation in cross-industry initiatives to help shape EU policy and legislation
  • Detailed status reports on national packaging laws and regulations
  • Access to members-only EUROPEN publications

Find out more about EUROPEN membership’s added value to your company here.

The european organizaTion for packaging and The environmenT
© EUROPEN 2016