APEAL (the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging) has welcomed the formal adoption today by the European Parliament (EP) of the Circular Economy Package (CEP) after more than two years of negotiations.   

“Whilst the final formal endorsement will take place 22nd – 23rd May* by the Ministers at Council level, the adoption of the CEP today in Strasbourg is an important milestone, a highlight of the current mandate. Once the CEP is implemented by 2020 in the Member States, it will bring numerous benefits for the environment, businesses and consumers,” said Alexis Van Maercke, secretary general of APEAL.

“We believe the EU-institutions have provided strong foundations upon which the Member States can build even if important follow-up work still needs to be done in the next two years. APEAL is committed to work with the European Commission and all stakeholders to make the new legislation a success,” he added.

APEAL is particularly pleased that the EP has endorsed the concept of “multiple recycling” in the final text. Through multiple recycling, products and packaging made from permanent materials, such as steel, are kept in the material loop and can become resources for other products and packaging.

We also welcome the maintaining of the ‘internal market’ legal base of the PPWD1 in order to safeguard the Internal market and the free circulation of packaging and packaged goods.

Even if the agreed recycling targets for all materials are an important step forward, we remain disappointed that during the final Trilogue (December 2017) a flexibility mechanism for Member States was introduced allowing them to perform lower in one or two packaging materials of their choice.

Today with 77,5% recycled in 2015steel  for packaging is both a pioneer of circular economy and a model for closed loop recycling.**

This was clearly demonstrated at the high-level ‘Steel for Packaging, a Pioneer of Circular Economy’ conference last week in Brussels, where policymakers and stakeholders examined ways of working together to fully close the loop on steel packaging recycling in EU countries and achieve the higher recycling targets set out in the CEP.

In addition, APEAL’s new report: “Good Practices on separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging”, compiled using examples of good practice from countries across the EU, provides detailed information relevant to organisations and individuals wishing to learn more about a real and successful material recycling story.

To reach the objective of a truly circular economy in Europe and reap the full environmental and economic benefits of recycling, APEAL now urges Member States to invest in the necessary infrastructure so that the recycling targets for packaging materials can be met.

1 Packaging and Packaging Waste framework Directive

2 Source APEAL, verified by independent energy and waste specialist consultancy, Eunomia

* Editor’s note (22/05/18) On 22nd May 2018 CEP was adopted by the council 

** Editor’s note (06/06/ 18) steel packaging recycling rate has increased to 79,5%  (2016 figures)