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Steel, aluminium and glass packaging industries jointly support the introduction of EU-wide recycling performance grades

Brussels, 30 November 2022

The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL), European Aluminium, the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) and Metal Packaging Europe, members of the Permanent Materials Coalition support the European Commission’s ambition to require that all packaging placed on the EU market shall be reusable or recyclable in an economically viable way in its proposal for a Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). We regret, however, that there will be a delay in fulfilling the objective of having all packaging effectively recyclable by 2030.

We are pleased to note that recycling performance grades are introduced for the first time. This is a step in the right direction. There is, however, a missed opportunity to differentiate between the qualities of secondary raw materials and to promote the use of materials that can be recycled multiple times without losing their intrinsic properties” said Leonie Knox-Peebles, CEO of Metal Packaging Europe.

Maarten Labberton, Director Packaging Group of European Aluminium, commented “We also welcome the continued focus given to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and the proposed rule whereby EPR fees shall be modulated based on the recycling performance grades, also taking into account multiple recyclable vs. limited recyclable packaging. This is the main reason why most EPR systems generally apply lower EPR fees for our materials, also considering the positive scrap value of well-sorted aluminium, steel and glass”.

Aluminium, glass and steel are ‘Permanent materials’ that are easily collectable, sortable and ready for high-quality recycling. Our materials have proven to be an effective means of preventing waste. The use of such materials in packaging is the best way to ensure that resources remain in use in the economy and to reduce our need for virgin raw materials” added Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General of FEVE.

“Packaging should not only be recyclable. It should also have the ability to be effectively and efficiently separated from the waste stream, collected at Member State level, as well as sorted and actually recycled “at scale”. The Regulation should set more ambitious criteria to define what “at scale” means. These criteria should be fulfilled across the Member States to ensure that the overall ambition of the EU Circular Economy is reached” said Alexis Van Maercke, Secretary General of APEAL.

The European Union is demonstrating global leadership in the drive to move from a linear to a real circular economy. With respective recycling rates of 75.8%, 79% and 85.5%[1], the aluminium, glass and steel sectors are top performers for recycling packaging materials and are well positioned to play a key role in this transition.

The Permanent Materials Coalition looks forward to engaging constructively with EU policymakers to ensure that the PPWR strengthens the EU Circular Economy, protects the environment, and guarantees that the resources used are kept in the economy for as long as possible.

[1] Recycling rate for respective aluminium beverage cans (2019), glass containers (2020) and all steel for packaging (2020) segments.

See the full press release here

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