The EU Environment Council’s recent decision on the regulation of packaging and packaging waste has drawn a clear line of division among member states.

This split reflects fundamental disagreements on key aspects, threatening the unified approach needed for effective implementation.

As the packaging industry grapples with the implications of this discord, concerns are raised about the potential hindrance to sustainable practices and the internal market’s overall coherence.

European Bioplastics reacts

European Bioplastics (EUBP) has expressed disappointment in the general approach adopted by the Environment Council on the proposed regulation.

The association believes the failure to acknowledge the role of bioplastics is a missed opportunity.

EUBP also highlights that member states demonstrated a lack of consensus on crucial issues during the Environment Council meeting on 18 December.

Roberto Ferrigno, head of EU Affairs at EUBP, emphasises that this disagreement could pose challenges in implementing the regulation.

He asserts that the general approach, as it stands, barely recognises the value of a limited number of compostable applications and hinders the progress of biobased innovative solutions.

EUBP represents the interests of the bioplastics industry across the entire value chain. Members of EUBP are involved in the production, refinement, and distribution of bioplastics – plastics that are either biobased, biodegradable, or both.

Weak general approach threatens internal market unity

Ferrigno warns that the weak stance adopted by the environment ministers may lead to further fragmentation within the internal market.

The presence of disagreements among governments and the inclusion of derogations on key measures could undermine the regulation’s effectiveness.

EUBP calls for collaboration with European Parliament’s proposal

In response to the Environment Council’s decision, Hasso von Pogrell, managing director at EUBP, expressed support for the European Parliament’s proposal on the packaging and packaging waste regulation.

He urges member states and the incoming Belgian presidency to collaborate closely with the parliament, emphasising its clear leadership on the matter.

EUBP believes such cooperation is crucial to address the identified shortcomings and enhance the regulation’s overall effectiveness.