Ban on plastic packaging “slows down innovation”, suggests IK’s Martin Engelmann

Ban on plastic packaging “slows down innovation”, suggests IK’s Martin Engelmann

January 20, 2020
Press Release: IK

The IK’s managing director has responded to the new EU Commissioner for Environment’s comments of a general ban on plastic packaging in Europe, with the IK calling it ‘counterproductive’

In a recent interview in Germany’s Die Welt, the new EU commissioner for Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius, discussed a general ban on plastic packaging in Europe. In response, the IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen, the German Association for Plastics Packaging and Films, considers the idea to be counterproductive and has called on the EU Commissioner to do more to ensure that plastic packaging in Europe does not end up in landfills but is recycled.

After the EU already banned various disposable plastic articles and packaging last year, the new Environment Commissioner Sinkevicius considers it appropriate to impose further bans. In his view, it is important to generally ban plastic packaging. The IK considers such statements to be dangerous because they question the future of plastic packaging in a circular economy. “The Commissioner should ask himself how his statement will be received by those who are about to decide on investments in recyclable packaging or recycling plants,” said IK managing director Dr Martin Engelmann. “If politicians exclude plastic packaging from the circular economy, these urgently needed investments will certainly not be made.”

While a strict landfill ban has been in force in Germany since 2005, household waste may still be landfilled to a large extent throughout the European Union until 2030. The IK sees a faster end to landfill as the most important lever for the circular economy.

Moreover, the IK criticizes the effect of such prohibitions on consumers. “Some politicians are currently suggesting to consumers and voters that blanket bans can be used to overcome the major challenges in environmental and climate protection. Unfortunately, they forget to mention the contribution plastic packaging makes, for example, to CO2 savings and food safety,” complained Engelmann.

If plastic is replaced by other materials in packaging, this usually results in increased energy consumption and significantly higher CO2 emissions.

The IK and the companies it represents expect the new EU Commission to make decisions based on facts and not on trends of the zeitgeist.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020 will take place at Cologne Messe, Germany, on Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 17 June. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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