EU Council should support Europes circular economy

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Smurfit Kappa, a global leader in sustainable packaging, and the print and paper advocacy association, Two Sides, fully support the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) as part of Europe’s Green Deal objectives.

The legislation faces a crucial moment at the EU Council of Environmental Ministers on 18 December. The Council will have to decide whether it supports the European Parliament in acknowledging that both reuse and recycling systems go hand in hand in the interest of a greener Europe.

The European cardboard industry has had, for decades, the best recycling system of all packaging materials. Total corrugated cardboard production in the EU is more than 30 million tonnes per year out of which over 90 per cent is recycled.  

A cardboard box can be recycled up to 25 times  making it the most recycled packaging material in Europe. And when it isn’t, it’s still 100% biodegradable which means it disappears in nature within four months unlike other non-recyclable materials.

Jonathan Tame, Managing Director of Two Sides, said: “Most of used cardboard boxes in the retail supply chain never enter the waste stream. Managed in a circular loop system from retailer back to recycler, they are collected from supermarkets and returned to paper mills often within 14 days and then remanufactured back into new packaging.”

Saverio Mayer, CEO Smurfit Kappa Europe, commented: “The cardboard industry is a frontrunner in delivering Europe’s green transition with a product that is 100% recyclable, renewable and biodegradable.

“The EU Parliament has recognised that reuse and recycling of packaging are complementary and robust recycling systems that have existed for decades run by hundreds of small and medium-sized European businesses are cornerstones of EU policies for environmental sustainability.

“We call on the Council of Environmental Ministers to follow suit and support Europe’s circular economy as they did back in 2020. Getting this right matters because what’s at stake is the EU green transition”.

The recent EU Parliament’s historical decision on its landmark legislation (PPWR) leads Europe towards a truly circular economy, following the EU Commission’s proposal last year. Back in 2020, the EU Council already welcomed the intention for all packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030.

Source: Smurfit Kappa