Europen, Pro Europe sponsor Packaging 2020: Cradle to Cradle Management seminar on future development of responsibility for packaging waste management, to be held in Brussels, Oct. 6

BRUSSELS , August 16, 2010 (press release) – The future development of responsibility for packaging waste management is the subject of an international seminar in Brussels on 6 October 2010. The seminar, Packaging 2020: Cradle to Cradle Management, jointly sponsored by EUROPEN and PRO EUROPE will bring experts from the packaging value chain together with representatives from public authorities to assess the achievements and status of packaging waste management schemes established under EPR principles in various European countries. The further development of these schemes and possible adaptation of similar systems in North America and other parts of the globe will also be discussed.

For the first time the two seminar organizers are teaming up to stage this unique event. EUROPEN, The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment is the representative voice in Europe on packaging for the companies which contribute a significant share of the funding for packaging waste management schemes. PRO EUROPE is the umbrella organization to which the majority of national schemes belong, most of which use the Green Dot as a symbol of corporate financial support known as EPR.

EPR for packaging was first pioneered in Europe twenty years ago. Since then, consumer goods producers, packaging suppliers, public authorities, citizens and the waste management and recycling industry have been working together to improve the sustainability of packaging waste management in Europe. During this period there has been a dramatic surge in new innovations in packaging which have reduced the environmental and financial burden and helped bring about a dramatic increase in the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.

“Packaging EPR has delivered some remarkable results in Europe. A EUROPEN analysis of official EU data covering the past 10 years shows that packaging production and packaging waste disposal have clearly been decoupled from economic growth in EU15 but no system is perfect and there remains room for improvement” said Julian Carroll, EUROPEN Managing Director. “Our seminar with PRO EUROPE will not only identify how we can do better but it will also assist the global corporate members of EUROPEN to develop EPR concepts for use in other parts of the world modeled on their experience in Europe”.

Joachim Quoden, PRO EUROPE Managing Director, added: “I am delighted that the Belgian EU Presidency has confirmed that existing EPR schemes are a strong example for future applications in the sustainable material management initiative. All European countries implementing the ‘extended producer responsibility’ principle are now assembled within PRO EUROPE. Companies are clearly accepting EPR as the most efficient way to fulfill their obligations.”

Speakers at the seminar include representatives from international consumer goods companies, Green Dot organizations, waste management companies, retailers, the European Commission, representative bodies of city and municipal authorities in Europe and, from the USA, a task force of the association of state and territorial solid waste management. Presentations on EPR for other product waste streams such as batteries and waste electrical and electronic equipment are also included in the programme.

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