Joint industry position on consumer sorting instructions

In order to achieve the EU packaging recycling targets by 2025/2030, the collection rates in the EU must increase. The undersigned organisations are putting forward a concrete and actionable solution to establish an easy and understandable system for correct sorting at source. 

In order to boost a circular economy and achieve the EU (packaging) recycling targets by 2025/2030, set out in the Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) and Waste Framework Directive (WFD), the collection rates in the EU must increase. Alongside industry’s efforts to establish a better and more efficient collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure for post consumer waste and to continuously improve packaging eco- design, it is now essential to engage consumers to achieve this goal. This can be done by improving the separate waste collection rate at consumer level, increasing consumers’ awareness about the need to sort and recycle, making sorting easy for consumers, and including them as relevant actors in the circular management of waste. With this in mind, the undersigned organisations are putting forward a concrete and actionable solution to establish an easy and understandable system for correct sorting at source.

An EU harmonised labelling system that helps consumers to correctly sort their waste and at the same time avoids any barriers to trade needs to become integral to the waste management systems in EU Member States. In order to work and to be implementable on an EU-wide scale, the system needs to be simple, cost-effective and efficient for all stakeholders.

The upcoming review of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (Directive 94/62/EC) represents a unique opportunity to set common requirements on which information should be provided to consumers for sorting instructions and how this should be done in a harmonised way, including the use of digital solutions that can help provide required information without the need to increase packaging size or repackage. The PPWD review should establish an EU harmonised model for consumer sorting instructions. Alongside the harmonisation of sorting instructions, labels indicating recyclability and reusability of packaging also need to be harmonised at the EU level. The details of this B2C marking would then be established via an implementing act in form of a regulation. In parallel, the work initiated by the European Commission to harmonise separate waste collection and sorting, as required by the Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98/EC), will be key to the effectiveness of harmonised labelling requirements.

 

Download the full joint position paper