European coalition calls for tax on beverage containers

The European Reuse Platform is calling for the revision of the EU Packaging Directive, and the introduction of a tax on beverage containers to promote reuse.

A group of packaging producers and trade unions as well as trade and environmental organisations, the European Reuse Platform(EPR), is calling for a harmonised packaging tax at European level of 0.50 ECU per litre filling on new beverage containers.

EPP qualifies a packaging tax at European level as an efficient economic incentive to achieve the shift of beverage packaging systems to an economically and ecologically beneficial reuse system. It cites positive examples where this system already works including, Finland, Norway and Denmark.
EPR says that an economic incentive is necessary to reduce the amount of one-way-packaging which is currently „literally flooding Europe”. Reuse has reached a considerable market share in only Finland, Norway, Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Greece and Germany.

The partners of the European Reuse Platform also call for a clear definition of the term prevention which is not clearly defined in the EU Directive.

For the treatment of packaging they request that a clear hierarchy of objectives be established with prevention as first priority. This can be achieved through the reduction of packaging material and by reducing the use of dangerous substances during the production process. Second priority should be the reuse of packaging, then recycling as a third priority (in form of reuse of the material). They foresee only as last options incineration with energy recovery and an environmentally respective disposal.

Members of the European Reuse Platform:

  • Finnish refiller A Pullo Ltd.,
  • Italian beverage dealers’ organisation ITALGROB,
  • Norvegian trade union Norsk Naerings,
  • Austrian beverage wholesalers unions Getränkeforum System,
  • federal unions of the German beverage wholesalers,
  • German federal union of middle size private breweries,
  • German Südglas eG,
  • German organisation Pro Mehrweg,
  • German Foundation Initiative Mehrweg,
  • European environment federation European Environmental Bureau (EEB),
  • Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU – German Branch of Birdlife International),
  • Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND – Friends of the Earth Germany),
  • Irish environment federation Coastwatch Ireland and
  • Dutch environment federation Stichting Natuur en Milieu.

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