Europe: EAA calls for EPR scheme improvements

As guidelines for EPRs are soon to be under discussion and scrutiny by the EU, the EAA is calling for consistency on a national level and wants to improve the general performance of all schemes in Europe.

EPRs are ‘an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of the product’s lifecycle’.

Introduced in 1990, EPRs marked a shift away from government and local councils in terms of responsibility for the environmental impact of products throughout their lifespan. Producers were asked to consider the environment not only when developing new products, but also when those products reached the end-of-life phase.

According to the EAA’s packaging board chairman Laurent Musy, the current Packaging Waste Directive has led to a situation where different types of recovery schemes – public, private or mixed systems – have shown strengths and weaknesses in their ability to recover packaging material from different waste holder categories,” he said.

“Efficient collection and sorting systems are essential steps in the fight for higher recycling ambitions. The aluminium industry encourages policy makers and all actors to implement best practices and consistent approaches throughout Europe,” said Musy.

The EAA wants to see wider geographical coverage for the schemes, a universal approach embracing large and small volumes, data accuracy and transparency, out-of-home packaging collections and fair cost allocations that take scrap values into account and avoid cross subsidies.