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(Brussels, 30 November 2022) — The European Paper Packaging Alliance (EPPA) is concerned about the proposal that the Commission put on the table today because it is not supported by scientific evidence and it is not focused on solutions that achieve the best environmental outcome. On the contrary, the proposal goes against the CO2 reduction target set by the Commission within the EU Green Deal and accelerates water stress and resource depletion.

Commenting on the publication of the Commission’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposal, Matti Rantanen, Director General of the European Paper Packaging Alliance (EPPA), said:

”The proposal is disappointing. It is not supported by scientific evidence and will lead to dire consequences on the environment, the economy and consumers. The Commission chose to ignore a large amount of robust, independent studies, all of which show that reusable packaging is not the best solution for the environment. If this is what we get from the Commission, then I hope we see Members of the European Parliament push back against these misguided provisions and bring evidence-based policy back on the table.”

The Commission proposal goes against the rules enshrined in the Waste Directive (2008/98/EC) as it does not look at the full life cycle impact of all packaging products when it has set the prohibition on single-use paper packaging for in-store use (article 22) and has provided for mandatory reusable targets in takeaway services (article 26).

According to a recently published life cycle analysis (LCA) study, recyclable, paper-based packaging used in the food delivery and takeaway sector offers significant environmental advantages over reusable systems across 12 ‘impact categories’ including climate change, freshwater consumption and resource depletion.

Similarly, in quick service restaurants, another LCA concludes that single-use paper-based packaging consumes substantially less energy and water than multiple-use packaging, and produces far fewer CO2-equivalent emissions, thus delivering “very significant” environmental benefits in 6 out 9 impact categories compared to multiple-use and plastic packaging.

‘The scientific evidence shows that renewable recyclable single-use paper-based packaging has a lower environmental impact than reusable systems in takeaway settings, as well as in store quick-service restaurants. We urge the European Parliament and the Council to look at the full life cycle impact of all packaging products in the next legislative steps and champion solutions that achieve the best environmental outcome. Renewable, recyclable paper packaging is one of these solutions,” Rantanen added.