In this context, the associations also welcome the recent announcement of 11 leading brand owners and retailers to work towards 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging and the new dynamic for recyclability of plastic packaging in Europe.

“With regard to the Plastic Strategy we especially appreciate the fact that the Commission has drafted a strategy which both involves and engages political decision-makers, the whole supply chain and the consumers” says IK Managing Director Dr. Jürgen Bruder. “We as industry will strengthen our efforts to use more recycled material in the near future. However, for the time being poor quality and lack of availability are impeding the increased use of recyclates. Also, consumers play a key role when it comes to waste separation at the end of life of the packaging”.

“One objective of the strategy is to multiply by four the use of recycled plastic in Europe. In order to achieve such an ambitious goal, the strategy will rely on voluntary self-commitments of the industry” says Elipso Managing Director, Emmanuel Guichard.

As members of the signatory associations European Plastics Converters (EuPC), Petcore Europe and Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP), IK and ELIPSO support the voluntary self-commitment of the plastics industry, published on 16th January. The voluntary self-commitment contains concrete quotas for recyclability and multiple use with respect to the milestones 2020, 2030 and 2040. Of particular interest are polypropylene or polyethylene (polyolefin) packaging, constituting the biggest share of around 70% of the European plastics packaging market.

While the Plastics Strategy puts the spotlight on packaging at the end of its life cycle, it pays little attention to its use. “Recycling is an important aspect of Eco Design but Eco Design is far more than just recycling” says Emmanuel Guichard. Dr. Jürgen Bruder adds: “Plastic packaging ensures optimum keeping, giving it high economic and environmental value. Its oxygen or humidity barrier significantly extends the lifespan and nutritional quality of food”.

Elipso is the trade organisation that represents plastic and flexible packaging manufacturers in France. The plastic and flexible packaging industries employ 38,000 employees in 320 companies for annual turnover of €7.7 billions the IK (German industrial association for plastic packaging) represents the interests of manufacturers of plastic packaging and films in Germany and Europe. The industry which is characterised by many small and medium-sized businesses has over 90,000 employees and generates an annual turnover of €14.7 billion. Plastic packaging currently has a 44-percent share of the German packaging market.

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