ACE issues response to the EU’s news Circular Economy action plan
ACE (The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment) welcomes the new EU Circular Economy Action Plan that will further accelerate the transition of the EU towards a circular and climate neutral economy.
“We see the new Circular Economy Action Plan as a unique opportunity to scale up the contributions of a circular economy to climate neutrality by incentivizing the use of low carbon and circular products,” said Annick Carpentier, Director General of ACE. “Circularity starts with the use of renewable materials,such as forest-based materials made from sustainably-sourced biomass that replenishes and regrows over time. By enabling the substitution of finite and fossil-based resources, renewable materials secure a long-term raw material supply, and supports the role of forests as carbon sinks. Beverage cartons have a low carbon footprint thanks to the renewability of its main material compared to other packaging containers,” said Ms. Carpentier.
“The recycling of products made from renewable material ensures that valuable resources remain in the economy for as long as possible and enables further circularity of the material. Separate collection is essential to achieve a circular economy, as it increases the volume and the quality of materials available for recycling. We call on policy makers to establish EU-wide and national collection targets for beverage cartons that would provide a strong incentive to further investment and innovation in the recycling infrastructure,” continued Ms. Carpentier.
Along with incentivisation of low carbon circular products and collection targets, ACE advocates for basing all new legal measures on a comprehensive and evidence-based impact assessment, in line with the Better Regulation principles. “The Commission should look at the specifics of each value-chain when setting new requirements. For instance, measures to reduce food packaging could result into more waste generation, particularly food waste, and negative environmental impacts,” concluded Ms. Carpentier.
By continuing to invest in innovation for new recycling projects, and by using recognised science-based targets on reduction of greenhouse gases and sustainably sourced materials based on internationally recognized standards, the members of ACE remain committed to contributing to a low carbon circular economy.
ACE provides a European platform for beverage carton manufacturers and their paperboard suppliers to benchmark and profile cartons as renewable, recyclable and low carbon packaging solutions. Engaging with stakeholders and partners seeking high environmental stewardship, it contributes expertise to EU policy, legislation and standard‐setting.
ACE members include beverage carton producers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak, who develop, manufacture and market systems for the packaging and distribution of food and produce packaging material at 20 plants in Europe. Most of the paperboard used by ACE members in beverage cartons in Europe is produced by Stora Enso in Skoghall (Sweden), Imatra (Finland), and BillerudKorsnäs in Gävle and Frövi (Sweden), who are also members of ACE.
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