What more needs to be done to achieve a circular economy in packaging?


Different stakeholders share their views on what more needs to be done to achieve a circular economy in packaging?

Kęsţutis Sadauskas, Director for Circular Economy & Green Growth, European Commission

Circular economy is a social and environmental imperative for our societies. It is also an immense business opportunity. For the packaging sector to become truly circular, changes are possible and necessary. The focus should increasingly be on 'circular design' and 'design for recycling'. The Commission will strongly support this transformation.

Joanna Dupont-Inglis, Director of Industrial Biotechnology, EuropaBio

The circular economy presents a great opportunity to stimulate new markets for EU-grown and produced bio-based packaging.  This will help secure inward investment for innovative, renewably sourced materials, creating jobs and growth, enabling reuse and recycling and reducing our dependence on fossil-based carbon.

Leonor Garcia, Public Affairs Director, PlasticsEurope

PlasticsEurope’s view on driving a circular economy is that all packaging should be separately collected. This would prevent this valuable resource from being lost in landfills and leakage into the environment. It would also allow recovery to take place in the most effective way. PlasticsEurope is committed to playing an active role in increasing recycling rates, the development of recycling infrastructure and promoting end-use markets for recycled materials.

Virginia Janssens, Managing Director, The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment

A well-functioning EU Single Market for packaged goods to ensure scalability of sustainable investments. In addition, effective and harmonised European EPR rules are key to increase quality and quantity of separately collected and sorted used packaging to improve recycling input and output. Value chain collaboration - including public and private stakeholders - is a pre-condition for real progress towards a circular economy in packaging; a principle which is also well implemented by ACE and its members. 

Françoise Bonnet, Secretary General, ACR+

When talking about circular economy in packaging, two elements have to be taken into consideration: we have to really fight against overpackaging and at the same time we need to boost recycling. This means rethinking the packaging system by including a stronger emphasis on eco-design.

This article has been published in the ACE Newsletter Autumn 2017.