Following the vote on amendments to the EU Packaging Regulation in the European Parliament, the IK is disappointed with the short-sighted decisions. Manufacturers of plastic packaging are warning of an undermining of the ecological targets through special rules for plastic packaging and loopholes for other materials. The criticism is directed specifically at the special reduction targets for plastic packaging, exemptions for composite packaging from the recyclate use quotas as well as reusable quotas and bans on single-use packaging, which should only apply to plastic packaging and thus encourage a switch to other single-use packaging.

“The special rules for plastic packaging, which are still being extended today, are jeopardising the transformation towards less packaging waste, more recyclable packaging and greater use of recyclates,” explains Dr Martin Engelmann, Managing Director of the IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen. The IK particularly criticises the fact that the unequal treatment with other packaging materials leads to a switch to paper packaging laminated or coated with plastic, which is criticised because it increases the amount of packaging waste and the plastic it contains cannot be recycled. “We are now calling on the member states to ensure material-neutral regulations so that each packaging material can play to its strengths for the benefit of the environment, the climate and consumers,” says Engelmann.

EU Parlament Recycling

Bild: AdobeStock | Grecaud Paul

In contrast, the IK takes a positive view of the general exemptions for hazardous goods packaging, which are already regulated globally at UN level. It is also correct that packaging bans can only be decided by legislation in the future and not by a decision of the Commission alone.

The IK is disappointed that the proposal for a credit system to make the mandatory recyclate use quotas more flexible was narrowly rejected by a majority.

“It is already clear today that there will not be enough approved recyclates to fulfil the use quotas for food packaging. In order to mitigate marketing bans due to a lack of recyclates, especially in the area of PE and PP plastics, for the supply chains and to ensure a level playing field between mechanical and chemical recycling, we need flexible offsetting of the recyclate content,” says Dr Isabell Schmidt, Managing Director of the IK Circular Economy. The association fears that small and medium-sized companies in particular will have problems obtaining the required recyclates.

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