On 2 December, the General Assembly was held online due to the latest COVID-19 explosion in Belgium. EXPRA President Oscar Martin Riva, CEO of Ecoembes, warmly welcomed EXPRA members and called for active participation, contribution and support and to join the efforts of members.
EXPRA`s Managing Director, Joachim Quoden, presented EXPRA’s annual report highlighting the current challenges of WFD, PPWD, SUPD, where European Commission guidelines are missing especially for “necessary costs, online sales, and tax modulation”. The MD also outlined EXPRA’s key priorities for the coming years focusing on transforming technical expertise into policy influence, strengthening industry alliances, devising new thought leadership, and revisiting EXPRA’s operational structure.

The development of a joint vision and of the EPR 2030/40 Charter has an effect on the EXPRA Action Plan and Lobbying Strategy 2022. To this end, it is crucial to revisit EXPRA’s advocacy strategy from a climate perspective, to be proactive concerning all ambitious legislative proposals, policies, and initiatives from European institutions, national governments, and other stakeholders, but also to help members to be fully fit for the future and excel in their performance. For this purpose, EXPRA will be supporteded by the strategy and innovation consultancy TomorrowLab, specialising in strategic future exploration, high-level strategic conversations, scenario analysis, and business model innovation.

The summary of activities during 2021 saw EXPRA’s participation in a large number of activities: 21 management reports plus external newsletters, 3 meetings with the European Commission plus 12 workshops, participation/intervention in more than 100 webinars, 3 general assemblies, more than 50 meetings with Circular Plastic Alliance, ISWA, CEFLEX, Holy Grail 2.0 Project, and 15 meetings of Working Groups – Task Forces

Regulatory and Public Affairs Manager, Monika Romenska, reviewed the latest developments on CEP, SUP, Plastic Strategy; in particular, she focused on file updates on Average Loss Rates and Separate Collection, and delayed files such as Sustainable Products Initiative, PPWD, and Green Claims, the public of which will most likely be adopted in Q1 2022.

Furthermore, three interesting presentations took place: Ms. Maryse Vermette, CEO of EEQ, presented “On the way to more operational responsibility, from a pure financial to a partly operational EPR approach” in Canada.

Ms. Nathalia Silva, AB Chile, analysed the early progress of the Chilean industry in establishing an EPR; and Mr. Henrik Nilsson, Svensktproducentansvar / FTI, Sweden, explained the government’s proposal for the new Packaging Ordinance 2023, which needs a stricter definition of material recycling to avoid competition as a race to the bottom.

Several EXPRA members welcomed and thanked for the great efforts of the EXPRA team to support them during the whole year despite the COVID challenges and asked to continue this support during 2022.