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Circularity of bottles: Contributing to the EU Green Deal


Circularity of bottles: Contributing to the EU Green Deal


The EU's Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) introduces a 90% collection target for beverage PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles by 2029 and also mandates that they should contain at least 25% recycled plastic by 2025, and 30% by 2030. To meet EU food safety and quality standards, PET bottles must be of food-grade quality. Effective bottle-to-bottle recycling is therefore a prerequisite to ensure that the targets laid down in the EU SUPD are met.

However, the versatility of PET bottles brings high demand from a variety of industries. An increasing number of non-food industries are using PET materials in their products. Some analysts claim this leaves the beverage industry with unfair competition and difficulty in delivering EU Green Deal objectives to increase resource efficiency and accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

The beverage industry is thus calling on the European Commission to introduce a "right of first refusal mechanism" on recycled PET in the revision of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD). They argue that such preferential access to recycled PET that the industry puts on the market, and of which it finances the collection, will accelerate its transition to a more circular economy.

The industry is also calling on the Commission to adopt minimum requirements for new Deposit Refund Systems (DRS) in the revised PPWD. Deposit Refund Systems are collection schemes whereby consumers pay a small amount of money (a deposit fee) for their packaging at the point of purchase and are reimbursed upon the return of the empty packaging to specific collection points.

Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss what’s the best recipe for meeting circular economy and climate objectives and whether DRS are an efficient way to meet collection and recycling targets for EU natural mineral and spring water producers set in the EU’s Single Use Plastics Directive. Questions to be discussed include:

- Can PET bottles be prevented from being downcycled?
- What are the challenges in making Deposit Refund Systems effective?
- Can a “right of first refusal mechanism” be delivered in the revision of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive?
- Can beverage manufacturers be given back the same amount of recycled content that they bring on the market?


Supported by:




Maja Desgrées du Loû, Policy Officer, Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, DG ENV, European Commission
Martin Hojsík MEP, Member ENVI Committee, European Parliament
Larissa Copello, Consumption and Production Campaigner, Zero Waste Europe
Roel Annega, Chairman and CEO, Gerolsteiner


Mariam Zaidi, Journalist, EURACTIV


09:30 - 09:35 Welcome
09:35 - 09:50 Panellist statements
09:50 - 10:40 Discussion and Q&A
10:40 - 10:45 Closing statements


Ana Alexandrescu

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New EU laws risk promoting ‘downcycling’ of plastic bottles, industry warns

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