The Managing Director of EXPRA chaired the 2016 edition of the EPR Toolkit seminar which was organized by Informa Agra alongside the Packaging Waste & Sustainability Forum with a strong involvement of EXPRA on content and speakers. It was attended by over 50 participants, mainly representatives of packaging recovery organizations, business organizations and others.
The focus of the event was on the proposed Minimum requirements for EPR in the New Circular Economy package. Mr. Julius Langendorff, Deputy Head of the Waste Management and Recycling Unit, EC informed briefly the participants about the ideas and intentions of the Commission when developing the Waste legislative proposal.
In his statement MEP Davor Škrlec (Greens/EFA) noted that further work on the definitions of EPR and EPR Organization is needed as this might cause misinterpretation by the MS and other stakeholders and added that these and other topics should be further discussed between the EP and the MS. He underlined that the need of reliable and comparable EU statistics is of major importance.
The major topics of the discussions in the 2 following panels were: the proposed transparency of EPR Scheme(s) with regards to its ownership and membership, the financial contributions paid by the producers and the selection procedure for waste management operators (Art 8a.3 (d)) and the proposed cost coverage of the waste management for the products put on the market by the obliged industry (Art.8a. 4).
In the lively debate on transparency different points of view were presented ranging from stating that compliance is a normal business so that transparency with regard to costs, ownership, scope, fees etc would not be necessary (Reclay) and underlining that the public mission and the importance of transparency to ensure credibility and reliability by EXPRA representatives. Similar was the debate on the cost coverage, with widely ranging opinions.
During the second half of the Workshop the participants discussed the situation in countries, where the EPR systems are based on competition between PROs. The discussion was focused on whether the proposed Minimum requirements help to to guarantee fair competition and will make possible to compare different EPR systems in EU.
Mr. Peter Borkey, Senior Economist, OECD, presented an overview of the key elements of the updated guidance (based on the 2001 OECD guidance on EPR) that focuses on four areas: governance, competition, design-for-environment incentives, and the role of the informal sector.
Mr. Matthias Klein of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety presented The Planned German “Wertstoffgesetz”, involving extension of EPR to Non-Packaging Household Waste from Plastics and Metals.
In total, the 1 day seminar was a very lively event with a lot of discussion and interaction between the panellists and also with the audience