IK Calls for Foresight in Packaging
Yes to Recyclability, No to Unrealistic Recycled Content Quotas
German IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen (Plastics Packaging Industry Association) welcomes the planned unified European rules for the design-for-recycling of packaging. However, IK is opposed to the proposed quotas for the use of recyclates. This was communicated by the association in a first statement on the EU Commission's proposals for a new packaging regulation.
Exploit Opportunities of Unified Rules
According to this, unified European rules for a recyclable design of packaging would strengthen the circular economy and the EU internal market. IK managing director and circular economy expert Dr Isabell Schmidt says that the requirement to minimise packaging and the promotion of reusable packaging offer opportunities for lightweight and material-efficient plastic packaging. Bans on certain packaging formats should be introduced with caution, only in exceptional cases and by parliamentary law. According to IK, the draft leaves too much leeway for a subsequent extension of the list of bans.
Furthermore, the proposed basis of the re-use quotas is not comprehensible, IK states. For commercial and industrial transport packaging in particular, it is already ensured that they are either reused or recycled to make new transport packaging. The re-use requirements should also be material-neutral and not exclude single-use cardboard packaging.
Security of Supply of Recyclates Required
IK, considers the proposed mandatory recycled content quotas for contact-sensitive plastic packaging to provide investment impulses for recycling. But these cannot be met equally for all packaging. Thus, the managing director fears that there could be supply bottlenecks due to a lack of suitable or approved recyclates. “We therefore demand security of supply to prevent product bans and risks for supply chains,” says Schmidt.
The association supports the idea of financial incentive systems and wants to advocate that such support is for all packaging based on recyclability, including plastic packaging. The recyclability of packaging is and remains the essential prerequisite of the circular economy and must be promoted as such.