Over the previous few years, coverage makers within the European Union have targeted their efforts on introducing new necessities for meals companies to make the meals system extra sustainable and resource-efficient. On this context, a regulatory improvement that’s extremely related to the sports activities and energetic vitamin trade is the proposed Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).
Whereas the brand new guidelines have the potential to significantly enhance the sustainability of packaging, stakeholders are involved that the proposed discount, reuse and recycling measures might compromise meals hygiene and safety, and generate pricey financial burdens on companies and shoppers. With the small print of the brand new guidelines on packaging and packaging waste at present being refined, right here is an outline of this new laws and its impression to the sports activities meals sector.
Stricter guidelines to deal with packaging and packaging waste
In November 2022, the European Fee printed the much-anticipated proposal to replace the EU legislative framework for packaging and packaging waste. The proposed laws goals to contribute to the EU’s progress technique for a climate-neutral, resource-efficient and aggressive financial system. To this finish, it suggests stricter targets for the discount, reuse and recycling of packaging and related waste. It additionally units out guidelines on the composition and design of packaging to mandate packaging minimisation, in addition to new composition and labelling guidelines to assist recyclability.
To make sure the stringent implementation of the principles, the proposal transforms what has beforehand been a Directive right into a Regulation. Which means that the steered new guidelines shall be immediately relevant at nationwide degree, with out giving Member States the flexibleness to amend or loosen the provisions to suit the nationwide context, due to this fact offering a set of harmonised guidelines throughout Europe.
The brand new and extra far-reaching provisions have been beneath session from 1st December 2022 to 24th April 2023, giving stakeholders the chance to touch upon the proposal. Greater than 500 responses have been acquired from throughout trade and society, testifying to the significance of the brand new provisions, in addition to elevating quite a lot of considerations.
The PPWR from the angle of the sports activities and energetic vitamin trade
In mild of the efforts of the sports activities and energetic vitamin trade to scale back packaging and waste and undertake extra resource-efficient practices, the European Specialist Sports activities Diet Alliance (ESSNA), the commerce physique for sports activities and energetic vitamin in Europe, contributed to the session. General, ESSNA welcomes the Fee’s proposal for extra bold discount, reuse and recycling guidelines, and its efforts to harmonise nationwide guidelines.
Certainly, by additional harmonising nationwide guidelines on the prevention of packaging and packaging waste, the PPWR would deal with commerce obstacles and scale back administrative burdens for sports activities meals companies which are energetic in a number of markets throughout Europe and at present must adjust to Member States’ completely different regulatory necessities. As an example, further harmonisation within the provision of on-label info on recycled content material and sorting directions is of explicit significance for the trade, in addition to harmonisation guidelines relating to EPR (Prolonged Producer Duty).
Nevertheless, ESSNA additionally identified considerations associated to a number of the measures, urging coverage makers to make sure that the upcoming Regulation is not going to have unfavourable impacts on the trade and its shoppers.
As an example, ESSNA recognized a number of dangers related to the brand new provisions on the return of plastic bottles and beverage containers for reuse and recycling. On the proposed deposit return programs for single-use plastic bottles, ESSNA famous that the Fee wants to make sure that cost-effective take-back infrastructure and expertise are developed to keep away from greater costs for shoppers. And whereas the trade is usually welcoming of the reuse measures for beverage containers, ESSNA emphasised that small and medium-sized sports activities meals firms (SMEs) at present lack the required infrastructure and programs to make sure the cost-effective return containers.
As hygiene and security stay the precedence of the trade, ESSNA additionally famous that any new provisions should not negatively impression the standard of sports activities meals. On this context, it’s key to make sure that new guidelines mandating the discount of transport packaging is not going to compromise meals security requirements and the integrity of merchandise.
Additionally, the forthcoming Regulation may create potential recycling challenges close to advanced packaging supplies. Many sports activities and energetic vitamin merchandise are sometimes packaged in hard-to-recycle supplies, comparable to triple laminate movies. For that reason, ESSNA known as for extra investments in analysis and improvement of latest recycling applied sciences that may recuperate secondary uncooked supplies from hard-to-recycle packaging supplies.
One other focus of the proposal considerations using used packaging supplies, additionally known as secondary uncooked supplies, and novel supplies for brand spanking new packaging. Many sports activities and energetic vitamin companies, together with ESSNA members, are at present trying into alternate options to plastic packaging, comparable to biobased, biodegradable, and compostable plastics. But, the trade continues to come across difficulties in having access to inexpensive, high-quality secondary uncooked supplies on account of their restricted availability and excessive prices. To extend the uptake of secondary uncooked supplies, ESSNA additionally invited the Fee to facilitate the trade’s accessibility to inexpensive secondary uncooked supplies, whereas prevailing the security and safety of those assets. ESSNA’s full place on the PPWR is offered right here.
ESSNA’s suggestions is in step with the target set out in ESSNA’s Sustainability Pledge: Lifting the Planet. As the primary trade pushed sustainability initiative of the sector, the Pledge cements the sports activities and energetic vitamin trade’s dedication to proceed to put money into progressive and round packaging options and undertake environment friendly waste administration practices to minimalise the packaging and waste impression of the trade.
Whereas the brand new EU Regulation on Packaging and Packaging Waste has the potential to facilitate the sports activities and energetic vitamin sector’s transition to sustainability, choice makers want to make sure that new provisions is not going to compromise meals security and hygiene, and put pointless financial burdens on the trade and shoppers.
The small print of the brand new guidelines are at present being refined within the European Parliament’s committees, which have steered numerous amendments to the unique textual content. These amendments not solely showcase the contested nature of a number of the provisions but additionally present alternatives for stakeholders to tell the ultimate place of the European Parliament. Following this, the proposal shall be mentioned within the Council of the EU. Member States have already indicated their opposition to the brand new harmonisation measures, which may have unfavourable penalties on the seamless cross-border commerce of sports activities and different meals.
ESSNA just isn’t solely following the debates however can be working to make sure that the views of the sports activities and energetic vitamin trade are considered within the remaining laws, which is about to be adopted later in 2024. In case you want to be taught extra concerning the impression of the PPWR in your organisation, or assist form the long run on packaging and waste within the sports activities meals sector, get in contact with the ESSNA Secretariat by way of [email protected]