Dear Esteemed Readers,

We hope this EXPRA Newsletter finds you in good health and high spirits.

The spring season has drawn to a close with remarkable activity for EXPRA and its esteemed members, marked by pivotal events and focused priorities.

On April 24th, the packaging industry achieved a significant milestone as Valipac, EXPRA, and EPRO joined forces to host the inaugural seminar on commercial and industrial packaging: “EPR-schemes for C&I Packaging: The Future Has Begun!” This successful event attracted over 150 participants from more than 30 countries, underscoring the global importance and urgency of the discussion. With the deadline fast approaching to implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes for commercial and industrial packaging across all Member States by year-end, the need for deliberation was paramount. This seminar greatly advanced our understanding of diverse approaches, a crucial step towards harmonization.

We are also pleased to welcome Circular Materials from Ontario, Canada, as our newest EXPRA member. This marks the 33rd organization to join our Alliance and the second from Canada. Circular Materials is a not-for-profit producer responsibility organization supporting producers in meeting EPR obligations for packaging, paper, and similar products in Ontario and New Brunswick. Beyond regulatory support, they establish supply chains for collecting, recycling, and reintroducing materials into new products, aligning fully with EXPRA’s principles.

Furthermore, significant legislative developments have transpired:

  • The European Parliament elections (9-11 June 2024) signaled a notable political shift, with populist and far-right parties securing up to 25% of seats. The European People’s Party (EPP) remains the largest group, while the influence of Socialists and Liberals has diminished.
  • The Council of the European Union adopted its position on the targeted revision of the waste framework directive, focusing on food and textile waste. This directive aims to enhance waste collection and recycling efforts, setting specific targets by 2028.
  • The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) was adopted to foster a circular economy within the EU, replacing the existing Packaging Directive. This regulation will significantly impact packaging standards and logistics across member states.
  • Lastly, during the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee in Ottawa, Canada, discussions continued towards a binding international agreement on plastic pollution, with the upcoming INC-5 slated in Busan, Republic of Korea, and a Diplomatic Conference to follow.

We trust you will find these updates engaging, particularly with insights from our EXPRA members. As we continue to navigate these dynamic times in the packaging industry, the contributions and commitments of our members remain pivotal. Their efforts not only shape regulatory landscapes but also drive sustainable practices and innovation across borders.

We invite you to delve into the full newsletter to explore in-depth articles, member spotlights, and upcoming events that promise to further enrich your understanding and involvement in the EPR world, and packaging and recycling sectors.

Warmest regards,

Your EXPRA Team Joachim, Monika & Valeria