European Green Deal, what’s new on waste and sustainable packaging regulations
Fighting climate change and environmental degradation: the food & beverage packaging side
On November the 30th, the European Commission announced its approval of the new rules for reducing packaging waste. Main objective: to promote re-use and make all packaging recyclable by 2030, in line with the European Green Deal. In this context, the Italian aluminium packaging industry is at the forefront in Europe, having for some time exceeded the targets set at EU level. Our country shows among the highest rates of recycling at the lowest possible costs. Unsurprisingly, the environmental contribution paid by companies to encourage the collection and recycling of aluminium packaging is, with 7 Euros per ton, the lowest in Europe.
Climate change and environmental degradation pose a huge threat to Europe and the world. The future of Europe depends on the good health of the planet and it is in this perspective that the EU countries have committed themselves to achieving the objective of climate neutrality by 2050, while respecting international commitments under the Paris Agreement. The EU’s strategy to achieve the 2050 target is what is contained in the European Green Deal, a package of strategic initiatives aimed at supporting the EU’s green transition.
To overcome these challenges, the European Green Deal will transform the EU into a modern, resource efficient and competitive economy, creating new opportunities for innovation, investment and jobs, but also for:
• reduce emissions
• create jobs and growth
• fight energy poverty
• reduce dependence on external energy
• improve health and well-being
An important slice of these new green models also concerns the world of packaging.
In the late 2022, the European Commission approved new rules for the reduction of packaging waste. The goal is to promote re-use, making all packaging recyclable by 2030, in line with the European Green Deal. In particular, there are three main lines in the EU review:
• preventing the production of packaging by imposing restrictions on unnecessary packaging and encouraging re-use and recycling solutions;
• promoting recyclable packaging at sustainable cost;
• create a market of secondary raw materials for waste reduction with obligations for producers.
But where does this need come from? The problem of packaging waste is important and is estimated at 180 kilos per year for each European, plastic in particular.
Eurostat has calculated that in Italy, in 2020, every inhabitant produced almost 2.9 tons of waste, a consistent figure, even if decreasing compared to 2019. In this perspective of improvement, our country ranks among the ten best in Europe, ahead of Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and France. Also the 2021 report of the Ispra – Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research claims that in Italy in 2020 companies have produced less packaging compared to the previous four years.
WASTE REDUCTION, THE NEW EU RULES ALSO CONCERN THE PACKAGING OF CANNED BEVERAGES: THE FUTURE
The new EU rules aim to speed up the process towards a substantial reduction of waste by 2030, implementing reuse and recycling in the countries of the Union, so as to cut even more waste per capita.
To help the consumer, there will be clear labels that will indicate which materials the packaging is made of, where it should be recycled and whether it can be reused or refilled.
On the producers’ side, the EU will impose certain obligations. On the one hand, some forms of packaging will be banned, such as single-use packaging in restaurants, hotels and for fruit and vegetables, on the other one, businesses will be required to offer consumers a certain percentage of their products in refillable or reusable packaging.
EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL AND SUSTAINABLE CAN PACKAGING: ECOCAP’S AND TOPSYL
The Italian aluminium packaging chain is among the most advanced in Europe and has long exceeded the targets set at EU level. Our country has recorded among the highest rates of recycling at the lowest possible cost, with an environmental contribution paid by companies to encourage the collection and recycling of aluminium packaging of 7 Euro per ton, the lowest in Europe.
For some years now, compared to the current legal targets (50% to 2025 and 60% to 2030), the overall recycling of aluminium packaging has been around 70% nationwide. Within this context appear companies that have made of research and development, in the name of sustainability, their main flag, studying high-tech solutions that dialogue with the surrounding environment. This is the case of Ecocap’s, part of the Cassoli Group, and TopSyl, its innovative worldwide patent.
Sustainability in both environmental and social terms is at the heart of the mission of Ecocap’s and the other companies of the Cassoli Group. In fact, Ecocap’s, in addition to being synonymous with innovation, research & development and technological progress in the field of industrial packaging machines, is a thoughtful and responsible company, actively involved in the construction of economic, social and environmental sustainability in the areas in which it operates. Its worldwide patent TopSyl in particular, is a complete and ready-to-use system that can be applied to any type and format of can, a seal on the opening that, thanks to an exclusive technology, becomes much more than a safe protection.
TopSyl protects the cans as soon as they are filled, safeguarding product and consumer, not allowing the formation of humidity between the protection and the can so as to prevent the formation of mold and the proliferation of bacterial flora. It is 100% ecological and recyclable, ensuring a packaging with a very low environmental impact: fixed to the can, made of recyclable aluminium, it cannot be dumped in the environment. In addition, it is fully integrated into the needs of corporate communication, transforming the upper part of the can into a targeted and differentiated means of communication, by market, distribution channel and customer.
Discover the world of Ecocap’s and TopSyl!