We are focused on policies and legislation that guarantee the free circulation of packaged goods and address the environmental aspects of packaging and packaging waste.

Permanent materials

The EU currently revises legislation and policies to move towards a Circular Economy. This moves from a linear to a circular consumption pattern, in which waste becomes a resource for the next production cycle.

Metals are permanent materials, which can be recycled again and again. Through multiple recycling, they are kept in a material loop and can become resources for other applications and packaging. Therefore, permanent materials are perfectly suited to respond to the objectives of a Circular Economy, contributing to the competitiveness of the European economy and increasing the EU’s independency from imports of raw materials.

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EU packaging and packaging waste legislation covers the production, marketing, use and recycling of packaging to safeguard the Internal Market.

The European legal framework for packaging waste is largely based on the Waste Framework Directive (WFD) and further detailed in the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (PPWD).

The harmonised legal approach aims to improve the environmental performance of packaging and to facilitate the proper functioning of the Internal Market protecting the free circulation of packaged goods in the EU.

Both Directives are currently under revision, in order to align them with the objective to move towards a Circular Economy.

Metal Packaging Europe is constructively engaging in the packaging waste legislation debates to explain the main functionalities of metal packaging and its contribution to a Circular Economy. We call for packaging legislation that acknowledges the role metal packaging plays for a resource efficient economy.

Recycling targets & measurement point of recycling

  • Metals are highly recyclable so ambitious but realistic recycling targets based on an impact assessment enhance the reputation of metal packaging.
  • Measure the point of recycling at the input waste into final recycling so that real recycling is reported and not material that is currently incinerated or landfilled but reported as recycled.

Multiple recycling and permanent materials

  • Gain political recognition for permanent materials (such as metals) and their decisive contribution to the Circular Economy.
  • Encourage the development, production and marketing of permanent packaging materials that can be recycled multiple times without changing their inherent properties.

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  • summary
  • our focus
  • key objectives

The EU’s core legal framework to define energy and environmental requirements for a wide range of products comprises the Ecodesign Directive, the Energy Labelling Directive, the Ecolabel Regulation and Green Public Procurement.

As part of the “Single Market for Green Products Initiative”, the EU proposed to develop a harmonised EU methodology to measure the environmental footprint of products, including packaging. The so-called “Product Environmental Footprint” (PEF) approach was tested with various pilot projects (Category Rules - PEFCRs) covering a wide range of products (e.g. beer, dairy, fish, meat, olive oil, pet food).

Metal Packaging Europe is constructively engaging in the Scientific debate to provide feedback on Category Rules and how the PEF methodology can be best applied to metal packaging without breaching fundamental requirements on life cycle assessments.

  • Contribute to the development of a harmonised methodology that fully takes into account the End-of-Life recycling credits.
  • Set the End-of-Life recycling rate as the default allocation parameter, which is the only methodology that recognises the inherent properties of metals as permanent materials.
  • Application of substantiated requirements on metal packaging LCA, such as the modelling of recycled content 1
  • Overall: Ensure recognition of metal’s permanent material properties, high recycling rates and avoid misleading PEF category rules for metal packaging.(1)

[1] CE DELFT, Feb 2013, End-of-life best approach for allocating recycling benefits in LCAs of metal packaging