The proposed revisions to the EU Directive on packaging waste and some expert views

The Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation annual meeting covered many different topics and included member views on the proposal to update the EU Directives on packaging waste. With a British exit of the EU now on the cards, but still with no specific dates or details agreed, this is an area, we at Nicklin and more generally, those in the packaging industry will need to pay heed to. The Confederation discussed proposals, the current state of play, and what would be needed to ensure compliance.

One of the major proposals of the update is to increase the current targets for reuse and recycling of wood packaging over forthcoming years. Very large improvements will be expected with the current target of 15% moving upwards to anything from 60% by 2025, to a staggering 75% by 2030. This of course means a big change for some within the industry in order to meet those targets. The new directive aims “to provide a clear and stable policy to allow long — term investment strategies focusing on prevention, reuse and recycling”.

At the meeting a discussion was had about the detail of these new proposals. In essence, the concerns raised were that the process may need to be more transparent to the sector. Specifically what was felt to be needed was a simplification of and clarity about the definition of what constitutes recycling and reuse within Europe. Added to this there also needed to be a total streamlining in the reporting mechanisms used by the industry in different countries. Calculation of reuse and recycling would also benefit from more transparency and harmonisation. It was also generally agreed that there needs to be improvement made to the inclusion of “preparation for reuse” within the targets and incineration for energy recovery.

It was reassuring that members of the body known as FEFPEB are well on the way to meeting the proposed targets with a recent survey indicating that current recycling levels across Europe are either already at, or are approaching the upper target of 75%.

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