Bravo Europe!

How Circular economy becomes reality


The EU Commission's proposal for a new packaging regulation ("Packing and Packaging Waste Regulation, PPWR") is a major and important step on Europe's way to a sustainable circular economy. PreZero supports the EU's goal of making all packaging reusable or recyclable in an economically viable manner by 2030. If we now follow this path consistently, the European Union will become a global role model in the prevention of waste and the environmentally friendly reuse of recycable materials.

We produce too much waste. All over the world, but especially in Europe. Changing this quickly is the task of our generation. The way to achieve this sounds simple at first: We must do everything we can to use recyclable materials not just once, but to keep them in circulation for as long as possible. Ideally, we should even recycle them again and again. However, implementing recycling in a systematic manner is a challenging task. Both technically and politically.

Technically, because today a great deal of packaging used in retail and industry does not even meet the requirements to be reused. For example, they contain materials that are not recyclable or cannot be mechanically separated in the first place. Even worse, they have a design that makes reasonable recycling even impossible. Both of these things must be changed. This requires Europe-wide standards for the recyclability of packaging, to which all producers and users of packaging on our continent must adhere in the future.



Important step for realizing the Green Deal

This brings us to politics. Creating these standards and building consensus among member states on them is a complex process. One example: Only if there are uniform specifications within the European Union on how waste must be collected, separated and disposed of (also by consumers), reasonable sorting by companies specialized in this field using state-of-the-art technology will be possible.

In our view, the proposed amendment to the Packaging Directive by the EU Commission creates the right conditions for removing both the technical and the political hurdles - and at the same time is an important step in the implementation of the so-called "European Green Deal," with which we want to become climate-neutral in Europe by 2050.

An encouraging signal for the EU. In implementing the regulation, we can draw on best-practice examples within Europe and learn from each other. In Germany, for example, the "Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister" (ZSVR) has already created very good and, in our view, exemplary standards for measuring recyclable design. These can now be used as a model throughout Europe and continuously developed further.

Rezyklat blau

Clear signal for more plastic recyclates

In addition to recyclability, however, new packaging in particular must also be made from material that has already been recycled so that the loop really works. We therefore also support another important project of the new EU regulation: minimum percentages for the use of recycled plastics in packaging and products. However, there are important conditions for this: The availability of sufficient recyclate, the removal of regulatory obstacles to its use in food packaging as well as to the construction of new recycling plants, and the establishment of suitable collection systems in all member states – because this is the only way to recycle valuable materials in an environmentally friendly way. At the same time, we believe it is right and important to make packaging producers responsible for organizing the collection and recycling of recyclable materials themselves as efficiently as possible.

Last but not least, we consider it very positive that industry and commerce are being given reasonable guidelines, for example, on separating packaging for consumers and reducing packaging, without losing sight of conflicting goals - for example, when it comes to the unconditional protection of food or, in the case of desired weight reductions, the risk of losing recyclability.

At PreZero, we believe: The new Packaging Directive is a clear signal that we can make good use of our domestic market and our different competences and experiences throughout Europe – for a cleaner tomorrow.