EPR Congress: One-size-fits-all won’t work: EPR Organisations call on the European Commission to recognise and respect their local role in achieving packaging circularity

Brussels, 20 March 2024

We’re delighted to share some fantastic news: Circular Materials https://www.circularmaterials.ca/ , based in Ontario, Canada, is now officially a part of our Alliance, marking our 33rd member.

As the second Canadian organization to join EXPRA, Circular Materials is a not-for-profit producer responsibility organization (PRO) dedicated to aiding producers in meeting their EPR regulatory obligations for collecting and managing packaging, paper, and packaging-like products in Ontario and New Brunswick. Their values perfectly align with EXPRA’s 10 golden rules https://expra.eu/beliefs/ , and they were founded by 17 leading food, beverage, and consumer products manufacturers, restaurants, and retailers in Canada.

Already closely collaborating with Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), a longstanding EXPRA member, Circular Materials aims to advance joint interests and initiatives focused on optimizing practices to improve recycling rates and drive innovation.

Allen Langdon, Chief Executive Officer of Circular Materials, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to partner and collaborate with EXPRA and its members to evolve and share best practices that enhance performance, optimize operations, drive technological innovation and investments in recycling infrastructure.”

He further added, “This partnership with EXPRA is aligned with our commitment to drive circular solutions through innovation and best practices. We look forward to building on the knowledge and experiences from the European EPR industry as we build efficient and effective EPR systems in Ontario and other provinces across Canada.”

Together with Circular Materials, we’re eager to make significant strides in advancing sustainable practices and shaping efficient EPR systems not only in Ontario but also across other provinces in Canada.

EXPRA, the European Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance, which represents 30 PROs from 28 countries, in collaboration with CONAI, the Italian PRO, organised the first EPR Congress on 26 and 27 September 2022 titled “Efficiency through diversity: EPR best practices across the EU”. The Congress focused on the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), one of the key principles implemented across the EU via the WFD and PPWD to fund a collection and recycling system which provides a practical solution to achieving a circular economy
EU Countries have built different models of packaging waste management, each with its own specificities, and each effectively carrying out its mandate. The Italian one, represented by CONAI, and the Belgian one, represented by Fost Plus, have both achieved high collection and recycling rates despite having very diverse systems in place. Both systems have been appropriately tailored according to regional specificities, consumer needs and number of inhabitants, which means that, when applied to different contexts than the one they were created for, they would not deliver the same results.

You can see the agenda here and an article for the Congress here and the slide deck here.