A group of leading companies from the reusable packaging value chain has launched the New European Reusable Alliance (New ERA), a coalition that aims to promote reuse as an alternative to linear models.

New ERA states that its key aims are to make packaging reusable, practical, and sustainable for all. It notes that this would not only involve a change in the way materials are used, but also a major change in societal and political behaviour.

“We want to enable European economies to move away from the throwaway society in key market segments and become truly circular, waste-free, and less toxic”, claims Gérard Bellet, president of New ERA and CEO of Jean Bouteille.

Through joint international efforts, the group hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of well-managed reuse systems, show that reuse can and does already work and, where possible, influence key policy debates and legislation at the EU and national levels to create the conditions for reuse to fulfill its potential.

“The aim of the association is to shape legal incentives, infrastructure, and financing models to accelerate the transition from single-use to reusable systems”, comments Jeannette Morath, treasurer of New ERA and CEO of reCIRCLE.

On the 30th of November 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on packaging and packaging waste. New ERA welcomes this proposal, which promotes reuse and refill and includes targets for some products and markets, although it also believes that there is scope for more ambitious targets in the segments already proposed and beyond, based on the demonstrated best practice examples.

“The proposal represents a great opportunity for establishing the conditions for the uptake of reusable packaging and accelerating the development of the infrastructure needed to build robust, cost-effective and environmentally sound reuse systems”, argues Oriol Segarra, secretary of New ERA and CEO of Bumerang.

In addition to the ambitions stated above, New ERA aims to raise societal and consumer awareness of reusable solutions, as well as creating an international space for the stakeholders of the reusable packaging sector to meet and exchange knowledge and experiences.