We hope you had a wonderful start to 2023 and we wish you all the best in this new year.

Seeing a steadily growing interest in EPR worldwide, EPR is constantly at the top of our agenda, not only with regard to legislative developments in Europe, such as the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation proposal, published at the end of 2022 and the started revision of the Waste Framework Directive, but also internationally, with the recognition of its key role in the Global Plastics Treaty through the next round of negotiations with the OECD.

Since the official publication of the legislative proposal for a Regulation on Packaging and Packaging Waste on 30 November 2022, EXPRA has been very active and involved in participating in numerous meetings and events with legislative stakeholders to obtain detailed information, especially thanks to the pro-activity and constant engagement of the EXPRA working groups.

Although recycling rates have increased in the EU, the amount of waste produced is growing faster than the actual recycling, with an increase of more than 20% in the last 10 years. For this reason, the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation aims to introduce substantial changes in the management of packaging waste by introducing new targets and requirements, objectives related to combating climate change, reducing pollution and enhancing the circular economy.

On an international level, the collaboration with the ISWA International Solid Waste Association and the Product Stewardship Institute is strong and reinforced by the numerous EPR Masterclasses, which aim to introduce the concept of EPR, provide an overview of its history, present the state of EPR today and consider its potential for the next decade; and by the numerous ISWA working groups that promote and develop sustainable and professional waste management worldwide.

News from our members during this winter season will once again show how EPR is the most efficient and widely recognised tool for encouraging more sustainable product design and promoting circularity. Indeed, our members continue to improve their performance by integrating cost-effective solutions and implementing best practices.

Internally, we are excited to celebrate the addition of a new member to our EXPRA family: Rekopol (Poland), the 31st member country in our strong alliance that now represents 1/3 of Europe. As we always say, our greatest strength is the possibility to represent other EPR realities, which are sometimes not adequately taken into account, and this gives us the opportunity to provide a comprehensive view of EPR schemes worldwide.

In addition, we are excited to announce that our 10th anniversary of EXPRA will be held on 26 April in Brussels, with a fruitful conference to celebrate this important milestone!
The event will provide an opportunity to discuss the challenges ahead but also the opportunities for EPR in the transition to a fully circular and climate neutral economy in Europe and other countries around the world. Reflecting on the progress made over the past decades by our members in supporting sustainable packaging and its sustainable end-of-life treatment, we will also look at how to develop and enhance EPR’s performance over the next decade for the benefit of society, to continue to be a constructive partner for all stakeholders in Europe and beyond.

With all these challenges, but also with the opportunities that lie ahead, we at EXPRA continue to strive to ensure an appropriate and workable policy framework for the operation of our EPR schemes, enabling and promoting circularity in packaging and beyond.

We wish you an excellent and interesting read.
Happy winter reading!