Circular Lighting Report

Lighting makers fight ban on polystyrene

Polystyrene packaging

Lighting manufacturers are fighting a proposed ban on polystyrene as a packaging material in France.

The trade body LightingEurope has written to the European Commission about French legislation called ‘Loi Climat et résilience’, which introduces the possibility of a ban on the use of styrenic polymers or co-polymers in packaging, starting from 1 January 2025, unless the material can be integrated into a recycling system.

In a joint letter with the home appliance industry representatives APPLiA Europe and Eurovent, LightingEurope says it has ‘concerns’ and is requesting a meeting to discuss the issue.

It says the lighting and home appliance sectors rely heavily on expanded polystyrene (EPS) as a key component to large and other fragile household products’ packaging, with a view of transporting and safely delivering such equipment to customers all across Europe.

EPS buffer serves a critical role in protecting large, heavy and fragile products during production, transportation and storage, including small but fragile household appliances, as well as heating and cooling equipment.

The trio say that they acknowledge the pressing need to enhance the end-of-life management of EPS packaging in certain member states, and its members are actively engaged in various projects throughout Europe, including in France, with the aim of developing efficient collection, sorting and recycling schemes for these materials.

However, it says that it is ‘crucial to recognise that establishing the necessary conditions for these initiatives, particularly concerning household packaging waste, is an intricate and time-consuming process’.

It goes on to say: ‘Our members are concerned about their ability to establish such a comprehensive waste treatment framework by the mandated deadline of January 1, 2025, and subsequently, potential infringement consequences of failing to do so under French law’.

The organisations say that they are ready to collaborate with the European Commission to provide any pertinent information that may assist in evaluating and addressing the situation.

‘It is our shared responsibility to find a balanced solution that ensures the interests of European manufacturers and, in fine, home appliance customers including French customers, with a view of maintaining access to the French market beyond January 1, 2025, while also preserving the integrity and free trade within the European Single Market’.

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.