Packaging and resource efficiency debated

EU beverage carton makers prepare for European product policy, sixth action programme

Representatives of European packaging firms gathered in Brussels yesterday to debate the role of resource use policies in achieving sustainability.

The meeting comes as resource efficiency is rising up the EU's political agenda. The European Commission has indicated that it will be a major pillar of the forthcoming sixth environmental action programme (ENDS Daily 17 October). Resources are also likely to feature strongly in an EU green paper on integrated product policy (IPP) due in December, which Sweden has promised to champion when it takes over the EU presidency in January (ENDS Daily 13 January).

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE), which organised the meeting, is strongly in favour of developing a greater focus on resource implications of whole product systems. Director Kevin Bradley told ENDS Daily that ACE wanted also to contribute to the development of European IPP policies and to spark a broader debate. Representatives of the European Commission, the Swedish government and environmental NGO WWF all gave presentations yesterday.

ACE and other packaging industry organisations see the emergence of IPP and resource use-based policies as an opportunity to reduce the EU's current strong emphasis on maximising packaging waste recycling. Mr Bradley said that a long term goal was a complete rethink of the 1991 packaging directive, though he accepted that the current revision process would continue.

Follow Up:
ACE, tel: +32 2 504 0710, and its latest newsletter.

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