On 29 April, a Zoom meeting as already usual due the Corona virus crises took place. The Managing Director presented a short overview of 2020 with all challenges, noting that the goal for EXPRA to be the know how hub for EPR (for packaging) has been achieved, as well as the annual evaluation by members (59% excellent, 32% very good and 9 % good marks).

The most recent EU developments regarding SUP & EPR guidelines and the forthcoming revision of the PPWD were presented and discussed.

During the meeting a new Board and a new President for the term 2021- 2023 were elected – all current BOD members were re-elected and as the new President Mr. Oscar Martin, CEO of Ecoembes, was unanimously elected. The new President shared his views on key priorities for the next two years in order to ensure that EXPRA meets all forthcoming challenges stemming from the new role for EPR within the transition towards circularity.

Very interesting were the presentations of the external speakers, namely Ms Vivian Xin Chen, WWF Project lead of Extended Producer Responsibility, WWF Deutschland, Graham Mr Gian de Belder, P&G, Vanessa Chesnot Product Policy Manager, FEVE and the colleagues Lieven Capon, Fost Plus & Karel Gemmeke, Valipac.

Ms Vivian Xin Chen, WWF Project lead of Extended Producer Responsibility, WWF Deutschland, presented their very interesting project, developed with EXPRA Contribution. WE belive that it is very important that WWF has identified the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme as a critical policy tool, as well as encouraging holistic eco-design in the business sector. The project is also presented in the new section of EXPRA homepage, EPR partnerships: https://www.expra.eu/en/epr-partnerships

Mr Gian de Belder, P&G presented an update on the Holy Grail 2.0 Project and its consequences for national EPR systems. As you recall this is an innovative project on digital watermarks, in which EXPRA is involves form the start:

Smart packaging sorting for a circular economy

Ms Vanessa Chesnot, Product Policy Manager, FEVE presented an update on the Close the Glass Loop Project, where EXPRA members as Ecovidrio, Coreve and others are actively involved. She focused on the practical aspects of the project, sharing some examples.

The Belgian hub for packaging eco design – “Pack it better” was presented by the colleagues Lieven Capon, Fost Plus & Karel Gemmeke, Valipac.

The Hub is a platform helping companies to make well-considered choices for developing / improving the packaging of products and to ensure the circular nature of the packaging materials, taking into account the packed product and the fact that companies can be active in the markets of different European countries. It covers:

  • Prevention of packaging, both qualitatively and quantitatively
  • Recyclability of packaging
  • Household & commercial/industrial
  • Primary, secondary and tertiary packaging
  • Reusable and one way
  • All materials and all sectors  

For such a platform, neutrality is very important (no commercial companies selling packaging or materials) and an Independent guidance committee is overseeing any doubts or Governance rules and the final assessment (qualitative & quantitative) including Valipac management, Fost plus management, 1 federation of household products, 1 federation of industrial products.