(Brussels, 27 March 2019) FoodDrinkEurope takes note of today’s adoption of the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive by the European Parliament. The food and drink industry is committed to stepping up efforts to improve plastics use, reuse and recycling as well as to maximise the use of available resources. FoodDrinkEurope members are striving to improve waste management practices at every stage along the food supply chain, always prioritising and ensuring food safety.
“Additional measures implementing the Directive are essential to allow the food and drink industry to meet its legal obligations and to avoid distortions on the Internal Market”, FoodDrinkEurope Director General, Mella Frewen, said, in response to the outcome of the vote. “Improving the environmental performance of plastic packaging used in the food and drink sector should go hand-in-hand with ensuring a high level of food safety for consumers in Europe.”
FoodDrinkEurope welcomes the objectives of enhancing collection rates and increasing the content of recycled plastics in beverage bottles. We are, however, concerned that the targets can only be achieved if there are high-performing collection, sorting and recycling infrastructures resulting in a consistent supply of recycled materials which comply with food safety requirements. There is also a need for a clear and robust methodology for the calculation of recycled content in plastic bottles, which should be based on an evaluation of the amount of recycled plastics available that are considered suitable for food and drink products. We call on the European Commission to make these a part of their priorities, especially in the context of the Circular Plastics Alliance discussions.
In addition, we also ask the European Commission to swiftly adopt the necessary guidelines and implementing measures to ensure the proper implementation of the Directive and provide legal certainty to the food and drink sector. In particular, guidelines are needed to clarify which food and drink containers are to be considered as SUP and to clearly define the funding of litter clean-up activities to be borne by producers.