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EUROPEN has joined over 100 associations in the European packaging industry in encouraging EU Member States to preserve the Single Market and prevent supply chain disruptions in the implementation of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation.

Allowing Member States to introduce their own, nation-specific restrictions is feared to disrupt the Single Market and risk diverting investment in technologies necessary for a green transition.

EUROPEN also expresses its concern that national measures could threaten supply chains, impacting their resilience by restricting the free movement of packaging materials and solutions. Many products traded across European borders are contained within packaging and, in the absence of harmonized rules, this could have negative economic effects.

Francesca Stevens, secretary general at EUROPEN, says: “Rules to cut packaging waste and clean up the environment will only succeed if they are workable for business – which means protecting the integrity of the Single Market.

“The PPWR will sink or swim on its ability to draw investment into circular packaging and waste management on a continent-wide scale. This is crucial not only for the PPWR but also, given the ubiquity of packaging, for Europe’s circular economy and environmental targets.

“If governments go it alone, abandoning the EU’s Single Market, national barriers will spring up across Europe. This will scare investors away from financing the new technologies needed to transform packaging value chains, process waste and convert it into a tradeable commodity.

“We are determined to see the PPWR succeed. But it must be based on science, on a strong Single Market, and on industry’s need for a clear roadmap to full circularity.

“Almost all goods bought and sold within Europe are packaged. Disrupting supply chains across Europe, by granting carte blanche to governments to introduce unilateral restrictions, will severely impact jobs, growth and competitiveness, setting the clock back on the Green Deal.”

It comes after a joint letter to the European Commission warned against a fragmented implementation of circular economy initiatives on a national scale, which is feared to destabilize the Single Market across the EU.

Another, more recent letter seconded the call for a robust Single Market, while encouraging the creation of a strong secondary market to boost circularity and economies of scale, cement Europe’s global competitiveness and green transition, and allow for investment in a climate-neutral European economy.

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