May, 2015


Dear Readers,

Over the first quarter 2015, we have witnessed some ground-breaking developments. The new European Commission, which took office on 1 November 2014, withdrew an unprecedented number of proposals, including the Circular Economy package and its legislative proposal to amend the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, and is working on a revised ‘more ambitious’ proposal. EUROPEN looks forward to a proposal that allows packaging to fully play its key enabling role in a circular economy, ensures a fully accessible European market for packaging and packaged products and facilitates innovation and growth for the packaging supply chain in Europe, in line with the EU Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency objectives.

A clear and predictable EU legal framework, with strengthened extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation will be crucial to make this happen and to support Member States in further increasing their respective packaging waste management targets. EUROPEN has brought this key opportunity to the attention of MEPs during a dedicated event on “Circular Economy and Packaging: The role of EPR” organised in the European Parliament at the end of April. Key highlights on the event can be found below. 

This edition of OPEN – the EUROPEN Newsletter - will provide you with an update on the Circular Economy package and EUROPEN’s related activities and views. You will also find interviews with Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Sirpa Pietikäinen, who is responsible for the European Parliament’s report on Resource Efficiency: moving towards a Circular Economy, as well as with the waste management and recycling consultancies, cyclos/HTP, who share their expert views for a clearer single EU methodology for calculating national packaging recycling rates. “EUROPEN Member in the Spotlight” features one of our national ‘PEN’ association members, ARAM, the Romanian Association for Packaging and the Environment, who gives its national perspective on the EU policy framework for a Circular Economy. As always, 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

Kind regards,


Virginia Janssens
Managing Director

EU Policy Updates

“More ambitious” and broader Circular Economy package taking shape

Work is underway in the European Commission to present a revised Circular Economy package by end 2015. As it withdrew the original package published in July 2014 by the former European Commission, the new European Commission promised to come forward with a “more ambitious” and broader package, addressing the “whole circle” of the Circular Economy and not only focused on waste aspects like the 2014 package. Work is also underway in EUROPEN, which recently reiterated its policy recommendations for a competitive, resource-efficient and growth-oriented Circular Economy.


MEPs discuss EPR at Circular Economy and packaging event

In the context of the European Parliament’s (EP) forthcoming non-legislative report on “Resource Efficiency: Moving towards a Circular Economy”, EUROPEN made a strong plea for a clearer EU legal framework for extended producer responsibility (EPR) during an event in the EP on “Circular Economy and Packaging: The role of EPR”, chaired by Rapporteur MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen. Organised by the EP Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, with the support of EUROPEN, the well-attended policy debate gathered over 50 EU policymakers. Please see EUROPEN’s dedicated event page for further information about the event. More details can also be found here. See also EUROPEN’s Factsheet on Extended Producer Responsibility for used packaging.


Circular Economy Insights

Insights from Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP on a Circular Economy and EPR


In an exclusive interview with EUROPEN, Member of the European Parliament Sirpa Pietikäinen, who is the European Parliament’s draftsperson for its non-legislative report on “Resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy”, shares her views on the Circular Economy and Extended Producer Responsibility. 


Waste experts cyclos/HTP: How and where should packaging recycling be counted?

Following the European Commission’s legislative proposal in July 2014 to review EU waste legislation, including the European Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste, EUROPEN commissioned leading waste management and recycling experts, cyclos/HTP, to assess the impacts of the proposed changes to the methodology for calculating national packaging recycling rates. Their report provides technical insights for policymakers and other stakeholders in view of the Commission’s forthcoming legislative package on the Circular Economy and upcoming non-legislative report by the European Parliament on Resource Efficiency: moving towards a Circular Economy, drafted by Ms Pietikäinen. In an interview conducted for this EUROPEN newsletter, cyclos/HTP representatives Dr Stephan Löhle and Meike Rapp, shed light on some of their study’s key findings. The full impact assessment by cyclos/HTP on the proposed changes to the methodology to calculate packaging recycling rates is for EUROPEN members only. However, the executive summary can be downloaded here.


Member in the spotlight - The Romanian Association for Packaging and the Environment (ARAM)

Romania has joined the European Union in 2007. With a population of above 20 million inhabitants (in 2011), it is the 9th largest country in the EU and the 7th most populated. Doru Cristiu, Executive Director of ARAM, the Romanian Association for Packaging and Environment and member of EUROPEN, shares his national perspective on the European waste legislation review as part of the Circular Economy package.


EUROPEN Publications

Factsheet on Extended Producer Responsibility for used packaging

Available for download on EUROPEN’s website

Watch this space – update coming soon!

EUROPEN report on European and national legislation on packaging and the environment. Our 2012 version is for sale here.

Calendar for EUROPEN Members

Next EUROPEN meeting dates 2015

Council of Members: 14 October

Executive Committee: 10 June, 15 September, 9 December

Sustainability & Regulatory Affairs Committee:  20 May, 24 November

Packaging Chain Forum: 16 June

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 detailed analysis on EU policies and industry developments related to packaging and packaging waste
  • Participation in EU cross-industry/multi-stakeholder initiatives to help inform EU policy and legislation
  • Detailed status reports on European and national packaging laws and regulations
  • Access to members-only EUROPEN publications and EU policy updates

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

Follow us on Twitter @EUROPEN_ORG

The european organizaTion for packaging and The environmenT
© EUROPEN 2016