As part of its membership to the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), European Bioplastics (EUBP) has actively participated in the draft of a position paper to collectively react to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), as proposed by the European Commission.  

While EUBA supports the intentions of the Commission’s PPWR proposal to make all packaging reusable and recyclable by 2030, the Alliance considers the move towards a circular economy essential and calls for a stronger support of the bioeconomy sector in the legislative proposal to deliver on the sustainability and climate goals set out in the EU Green Deal.  

The Alliance feels that the proposal fails to recognise that packaging recyclability and reusability alone are not enough to put the packaging sector on track for climate neutrality by 2050. EUBA urges the EU institutions to accelerate the uptake of biobased content to the same extent as recycled content to count towards reaching the recycled content targets for packaging set out in the Commission’s legislative proposal. 

Such targeted measures would not only encourage the use of biobased materials for the manufacture of packaging and reduce the need for virgin fossil resources, but also make sure the strict requirements for contact-sensitive materials can be met while making food and medical packaging more sustainable. Both biobased and recycled content help to reduce the environmental impact of packaging by significantly reducing GHG emissions and should therefore be promoted in the same manner. 

EUBA also supports the use of compostable packaging materials as sustainable alternatives, especially for food applications, where it is difficult to separate the packaging from the product. The organisation urges the inclusion of all compostable applications that meet strict criteria for compostable plastic packaging in the legislative proposal, as compostable plastics will play a crucial role in facilitating the mandatory separate collection of biowaste across Europe. 

Furthermore, EUBA emphasizes the importance of enabling and promoting innovation within the packaging sector to ensure its future fitness and the transition to a sustainable and circular economy. The organisation cautions against overly rigid requirements for innovative renewable materials, as they may discourage industry investment in research and development and potentially drive resources outside of Europe. EUBA calls for a review of recyclability and recycled content targets for innovative materials, suggesting the introduction of exemptions that extend beyond the proposed 5-year derogation period to support the scaling up of necessary processes and infrastructure for innovative materials. 

In EUBA’s view, it is vital for the EU to enable and champion innovation to ensure the packaging sector is fit for the future while moving towards a sustainable and circular economy model. As we move fully into the implementation phase of the European Green Deal, EUBA considers it crucial that key legislative initiatives, such as the revision of the PPWR, concretely and cohesively support the transition to a more sustainable circular bioeconomy. European Bioplastics supports that view and stands by it. 

To read the full position, please follow the link below: