Lorax EPI attends Sustainability In Packaging Europe
by Aaron Sarah at 09:06 in Circular Economy, Packaging
On the 17th and 18th of October, Lorax EPI had the pleasure of attending the Sustainability in Packaging Europe conference, held in Barcelona. The conference is aimed at driving innovation in producing more sustainable packaging solutions as we move towards a circular economy. The conference included a series of different talks, panel discussions and workshops on topics including EPR, eco-modulation and recyclability. The conference also provided many great opportunities to network with people from all walks of the packaging industry.
Key talking points from the conference:
With the new Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation being the hot topic at the moment, it was no surprise that it came up in many of the talks and panel discussions at the conference. The discussions around the PPWR raised many interesting and varying viewpoints of the proposed legislation and its future implementation. For example, it was mentioned how the proposed PPWR is increasing international worry from countries such as the US and China regarding how it would affect their exports to the EU In fact, it was mentioned at the conference how the PPWR is the most lobbied file in EU history.
Another key talking point around the PPWR was how we now have to look back at the PPWD and use it as a learning point to progress to the PPWR. This was raised in a discussion at the conference, particularly around how EPR fees have not been reflected in the cost of collection. This brought in the discussion on the PPWR and Eco-Modulation.
It was clear to see that the majority opinion of this conference was that eco-modulation is definitely needed across the EU. Panellists pointed to countries that already have eco-modulated fees in place, such as the Netherlands and France. This raised the discussion around how local enforcement is not the same across varying nations, and they do not have access to the same resources, meaning there is not a level playing field between Producer Responsibility Organisations (PRO's). The PPWR will bring harmonized regulations across the EU, but speakers questioned to what extent we will actually see the successful implementation of eco-modulation throughout the EU.
Carrying on from the 'level playing field' theme, another key talking point at the conference was the notion of harmonisation and particularly how labelling will be harmonised throughout the EU with the PPWR. We attended an interesting discussion involving PRO's in countries that have already introduced a nation-wide labelling system such as Italy (Conai) and Norway (Gront Punkt). The PRO's debated on how they think their current nation-wide labelling scheme is the route that the EU should take. For example, Conai believes QR codes are the way to go, and Gront Punkt came back and said that small children and elderly people will not be scanning QR codes with a smart phone to see what bin to put it in. Overall, this was an interesting debate.
Conclusion – collaboration needed:
Whilst there were debates as to the 'how', something that everyone clearly agreed on was the need for collaboration across the whole supply chain. With over 600 people from the industry at this conference, it was a great opportunity for people to share their ideas as to how to make packaging more sustainable.
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