Smurfit Kappa and the NGO Two Sides ask the EU Council to support the circular economy in Europe


The European Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) faces a crucial moment in the EU Council of Environment Ministers.

The NGO Two Sides and Smurfit Kappa come together to support the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), as part of the objectives of the European Green Deal. A legislation that faces a crucial moment in the Council of EU Environment Ministers, which will have to decide whether to support the European Parliament in recognizing that both reuse and recycling systems go hand in hand in the interests of Greener Europe.

The European cardboard industry has had the best recycling system for all packaging materials for decades. Total cardboard production in the EU exceeds 30 million tonnes per year, of which more than 90% is recycled. A box can be recycled up to 25 times, making it the most recycled packaging material in Europe. And when it’s not, it’s still 100% biodegradable, meaning that, unlike other non-recyclable materials, it disappears from nature in four months.

Jonathan Tame, CEO of Two Sides, assures that “the majority of used cardboard boxes that leave the retail supply chain never enter the waste stream. They are managed in a circular system from the retailer to the recycler. Used boxes are collected from supermarkets and returned to paper mills to be made into new boxes, often within 14 days.”

For his part, Saverio Mayer, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Europe, adds that “the cardboard industry is a pioneer in achieving the green transition from Europe with a product that is 100% recyclable, renewable and biodegradable. The EU Parliament has recognized that packaging reuse and recycling are complementary and robust systems that have existed for decades and are managed by hundreds of European small and medium-sized businesses. They are, therefore, cornerstones of EU policies for environmental sustainability. Therefore, we ask the Council of Environment Ministers to do the same and support Europe’s circular economy as it did in 2020. Getting this right is important, because what is at stake is the EU’s green transition. /span>

The EU Parliament’s recent decision on its landmark legislation (PPWR) moves Europe towards a truly circular economy, following the EU Commission’s proposal last year. In 2020, the EU Council already welcomed the intention for all packaging to be reusable or recyclable by 2030.