Circular Lighting Report

Green packaging rules must be consistent, says LightingEurope

Green packaging LightingEurope

The rules on sustainable packaging for lighting and other products need to be consistent throughout the continent says LightingEurope.

The trade body – which represents over 1,000 manufacturers – was reacting to a draft of the EU’s controversial Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).

Irish Green Party MEP Grace O’Sullivan said the law ‘must be meaningful and effective in reducing the mountain of packaging waste we are creating every day in the EU’.

But the sustainability measures have raised concerns in the business sector.

It’s believed that LightingEurope is worried about specific rules in nation states, such as a proposed ban on polystyrene as a packaging material in France.

In a statement, LightingEurope said: ‘The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation must uphold Single Market principles, not undermine them. We urgently need one Circular Economy in Europe.

‘Secondly, the PPWR will be judged against its ability to ensure the functioning of all value chains that depend on packaging for the safe and efficient distribution of products in a circular economy.

‘The unavailability of suitable packaging, for instance due to disproportionate restrictions or unworkable conditions for market access, at EU or national level, can endanger the resilience of Europe’s supply chains.

‘The European Parliament’s negotiating position adopted last month is a step towards eliminating arbitrary measures – which were not anchored in thorough impact assessment – and ensuring a gradual approach to packaging waste prevention and minimisation.

‘Yet serious concerns remain as to the ability of the Regulation to deliver on its intended goal of greater harmonisation of packaging sustainability rules across the EU.

‘In recent years, our industries have witnessed an increase in national trade barriers in the form of divergent packaging requirements imposed by several Member States.

‘We now face the greater risk that new trade barriers will be legitimised by the Regulation itself. If Member States are allowed to introduce new national sustainability and information requirements, and if the right to market goods is restricted to national markets rather than the EU as a whole, products that comply with PPWR could be denied access to the market of a given Member State.’

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Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.