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Manifesto outlines successful EPR system for packaging

Europe – A manifesto is being launched in a bid to define a successful extended producer responsibility (EPR) system for packaging, particularly focused on household packaging.

A manifesto is being launched in a bid to define a successful extended producer responsibility (EPR) system for packaging, particularly focused on household packaging. Organisers of 11 European producer responsibility systems for packaging waste are using the document to explain the essence of EPR and key aspects that they consider essential to achieving the best results – both economically and environmentally.

William Vermeir, Managing Director of Belgium’€™s Fost Plus, comments: ‘€˜With companies responsible for the collection and recycling of packaging at the end of life, EPR is a practical way to implement the ‘€œproducer pays’€ principle. By applying the principles of the manifesto, organisations are making an important contribution to ensure that packaging waste is collected and recycled in a cost-effective and practical manner.’€™ 

Key points of the manifesto include: EPR organisations should be owned by the obliged companies and run on a not-for-profit basis; there needs to be strong governmental support and monitoring; there are many advantages of having one rather than multiple organisations in each country; the EPR organisation needs to be set up in a way that ensures sustainable financing. – The EPR organisation should contribute to packaging optimisation and waste prevention. 

Zbyněk Kozel, CEO of EKO-KOM, says: ‘€˜By adhering to the principles of the manifesto, obliged companies ensure that their EPR organisation provides added value across the product life-cycle and that it involves all stakeholders from government to local authorities and the broader waste management sector.’€™ 

The 11 organisations behind the manifesto are: CONAI (Italy); EcoEmbes (Spain); Ecopack Bulgaria; ECO-ROM Ambalaje (Romania); EKO-KOM (Czech Republic); Envipak (Slovakia); Fost Plus (Belgium); Green Dot Cyprus; Greenpak (Malta); Nedvang (the Netherlands); and Valorlux (Luxembourg). Through active promotion, they are calling on industry to support the principles of the manifesto and hope to obtain endorsement by the authorities.

A new association will also be created shortly to pursue these key EPR aspects, to promote best practice and information sharing, and to intensify its members’€™ common co-operation and exchange of best practice in the waste management sector. The official launch will take place in Brussels this spring.

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