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APEAL welcomes European Commission’s communication on beverage packaging


19 May 2009


Sustainable Dev.

New report provides increased legal certainty to the packaging sector and confirms that deposit systems create barriers to trade.

On Friday 8 May, the European Commission released its long expected communication on beverage packaging, deposit systems and free movement of goods. The report aims to provide legal clarification on the application of the EU’s packaging legislation.

APEAL is particularly pleased to see the European Commission’s re-confirmation of the “lex specialis” status of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD), recognising that it takes precedence over the Waste Framework Directive. APEAL also supports the confirmation that the PPWD “does not establish a clear hierarchy between the re-use of packaging and the recovery of packaging waste”.

Taken together, these clarifications demonstrate the independence and special status of European packaging waste legislation. This is an important fact given the
forthcoming revision of the PPWD.

As an industry producing Europe’s most recycled consumer packaging material1, this communication gives further recognition to the undisputed environmental benefits of material to material recycling.

APEAL is also satisfied with the Commission’s confirmation that “mandatory deposit and return systems create barriers to trade”. While member states may still introduce mandatory deposit systems if they are considered necessary for environmental reasons, independent research2 has shown that deposit systems, when added to existing holistic collection systems are often counter-productive
from an environmental point of view.

In particular, mandatory deposit systems have been shown to endanger well performing, existing kerbside collection systems which exist in most EU member states. In addition, they lead to increased prices for the consumer and are an
ineffective tool in fighting litter as beverage packaging only constitutes 0.45 % of all litter. By contrast, countries using well-established kerbside collection
systems consistently score the highest when it comes to packaging recycling rates and achieve this at a significantly lower cost.

APEAL Communications:

Anne Starkie-Alves
Communications Manager
APEAL - Avenue Louise, 89
BE-1050 Brussels
Tel: +32/2 535 72 03
Fax: +32/2 537 86 49

For more information:
Joris Nachtergaele
EU Public Affairs Manager
APEAL - Avenue Louise, 89
BE-1050 Brussels
Tel: +32/2 535 72 06
Fax: +32/2 537 86 49