The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, ACE, has released a press statement in which the alliance calls for amendments to the EU’s Roadmap to 2030.
Although ACE supports the Commission’s vision, the additions that the groups deems necessary include a 90% mandatory collection target. The reason being that the industry needs enabling conditions to ensure beverage cartons are recycled at scale by 2035. A mandatory collection target for packaging formats would provide predictable packaging waste flows that would incentivise investments in recycling infrastructure and technologies.
The Alliance also calls for an exemption from reuse targets for microbiological sensitive products. Microbiological sensitive products that cannot maintain their qualities through the addition of preservatives need to be packed in aseptic packaging to maintain the hygiene and nutritional value of the product. This is especially important for products with a long shelf life. ACE believes mandatory reuse targets should exempt sensitive beverages with these specific needs.
Adding to the previous point; feasibility assessment of the recycled content targets for contact sensitive packaging. The European Commission’s proposal defines recycled content targets for contact sensitive packaging of respectively 10% and 50% by 2030 and 2040. ACE members are keen to include recycled plastic in their cartons provided it is available on the market at an economically viable price and authorised for use in food contact applications. These two conditions are currently not met at scale. ACE wants the Commission to re-assess the availability of such recycled content prior to the enforcement of these targets. To help mitigate the challenge of the availability of recycled content on the market, an equivalent should be established between biobased/renewable plastic content and recycled plastic content as sustainably sourced renewable materials are a low-carbon, circular and food safe solution.
And the final proposal from ACE is to add design for Recycling (DfR) Guidelines. DfR Guidelines are technical documents that need to be evidence-based, robust and take account of industry innovation. The beverage carton industry’s latest DfR Guidelines provide expert recommendations to optimize their recyclability. To ensure DfR Guidelines duly reflect in-depth technical knowledge and latest innovation, it is important to include experts from the industry and technical institutes in the development of the DfR Guidelines.