Europe pledges to make beverage packaging fully circular by 2030
An interim goals is for 50% rPET by 2025, while the organization wants to see recycled or renewable material accounting for all PET by 2030.
UNESDA – which represents 23 national associations across Europe as well as counting Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Suntory and Nestlé among its members - says it supports the EU’s ambition of making Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and building a circular economy.
The target covers the EU, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.
The vision will require actions across three areas:
Collection to create a closed-loop for beverage packaging:
- Target at least 90% collection of all beverage packaging by 2030. This means going beyond EU targets: EU law has set a 90% collection target for PET bottles; alongside general targets across all sectors for 60% aluminium and 75% for glass
- Expand introduction of Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) for PET, aluminium cans and other materials
- All soft drinks PET bottles will contain a minimum average of 50% rPET by 2025
- The ambition is for PET bottles to be made from 100% recycled and/or renewable material by 2030 – ‘if technically and economically feasible’ – thereby moving away from fossil fuel sources.
- By 2025, all beverage packaging (plastic, metal, glass) will be 100% recyclable
Reduce and reuse
- Aiming to boost use of refillable packaging
- Studying the best environmental and economic pathway to increase use of refillable models.
“Our goal is that beverage packaging achieves full circularity and is recognised as a resource in a circular economy: it has value, is recyclable, is collected and used as recycled content,” said Ian Ellington, UNESDA president and SVP and Chief Category Officer, PepsiCo Europe.
“We believe that packaging is a resource that should never be wasted and are taking numerous actions to achieve full circularity and support the European Commission’s agenda of accelerating the transition towards a green economy.”
UNESDA says it will need support from EU authorities and national governments to reach its ambition, including:
- long-term perspective and legal certainty as well as protecting the single market;
- a well-functioning secondary raw materials market that gives the soft drinks sector access to sufficient high quality rPET, without compromising on safety standards;
- increased investment in waste management and recycling infrastructure;
- an EU framework enabling innovative recycling technologies;
- EU minimum requirements for new DRS across Europe
- clear definitions of recyclability that foster innovation and investment