EPPA Says Commission Must Change its Mind on Reusable Packaging Demands

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by KnowESG

As the EU gets ready to set strict new goals for waste packaging, more and more evidence shows that proposed targets on reusables are unscientific, unsustainable, and unnecessary.

The European Paper Packaging Alliance (EPPA) has issued new calls for the European Commission to prioritise the full product life cycle in its vision for a circular economy and avoid using the upcoming Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposal to outlaw more sustainable packaging solutions.

The most recent evidence comes from a new life cycle analysis study, which demonstrates that recyclable, paper-based packaging used in the food delivery and takeaway sector outperforms reusable systems in 12 'impact categories,' including climate change, freshwater consumption, and resource depletion.

Findings show that switching to reusable alternatives would lead to 48% more CO2-equivalent emissions, 39% more freshwater use, and 82% more mineral and resource extraction.

The study says this is because carrying food and beverage containers back to restaurants after use, as well as washing and drying them hygienically, takes significantly more energy, water, and resources.

This LCA study adds to the growing body of evidence that shows reusable container systems are not the perfect solution that some people say they are.

Eric Le Lay, President of the European Paper Packaging Alliance said:

“This is more proof that reusable packaging is not always the best solution for the environment. The EU's proposal for the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation must include a proper life cycle analysis.

"The leaked draft text of the regulation is disappointing. It sets unrealistic and discriminatory reuse targets for in-store dining and takeaway services. The European Commission should embrace the scientific evidence that single-use, paper-based containers are not only far more practical for food delivery services and their customers, improving hygiene and convenience, but simply perform better on key environmental metrics.”

Antonio D’Amato, Vice President of EPPA, also commented:

“Protecting the planet is too important a priority to be left to ideology. The planet's health demands a rigorous scientific approach and substantial investment in new technology and innovation, which can only be generated by sustainable growth.

"Europe and indeed the entire world face energy and water scarcity and food shortages, yet the Commission's current proposals would escalate carbon emissions and resource depletion, accelerate water stress, and increase food waste. We should instead be working together on solutions that are truly sustainable for the environment, the economy, and employment. We are convinced that the circular economy, in which we have all invested billions of euros over 30 years of hard work and innovation, is the only way to provide sustainable solutions for the environment, economy, and employment.”

Source: Business Wire

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