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Revised packaging rules put additional constraint on SMEs

30 November 2022
by smeunited -- last modified 30 November 2022

SMEunited disagrees with the policy option to put all responsibility on economic operators to comply with the new obligations on packaging and packaging waste. The new targets will create a serious disruption of the current working methods, without providing for initiatives to mitigate the impact or facilitate the process towards new models.


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SMEunited is concerned about the new targets of the reviewed Regulation on Packaging and Packaging Waste presented today for both recycled content and re-use and refill.

"Setting the new recycling, re-use and refill targets on the economic operators rather than on Member States confirms that enterprises are considered once more the scapegoat of the system," pointed out Secretary General Véronique Willems.

SMEunited welcomes that the Commission takes into account specificities of small companies or businesses having less than 100 m² of selling area for some of the re-use and refill targets. Small establishments would encounter problems with finding sufficient space to properly store the reusable packaging returned from consumers.

The text provides for further restriction on the use of certain packaging formats, such as single use packaging for foods and beverages filled and consumed within the premises in the HORECA sector. As a lot of small businesses in this sector rely on single use packaging, SMEunited appreciates that the restriction only applies as of 1 January 2030, providing time to adjust business models. It is also positive that Member States can take further actions for microenterprises, as for them it will be especially challenging to reconfigure their operations. However, when it comes to other packaging formats on the restriction list, such as single use hotel miniature packaging, we request to provide a longer period for transition as well.

A 35% recycled content target for plastic packaging other than single use beverage bottles and contact sensitive packaging may not be feasible for certain specific plastic packaging, such as cling film. SMEunited consequently supports that the Commission can provide for derogations for specific kinds of plastic packaging.

SMEunited is the association of Crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited represents national cross-sectoral Craft and SME federations, European SME branch organisations and associate members. Combined, we represent more than 12 million enterprises with around 55 million employees across Europe. SMEunited is also a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner. SMEunited was formally known as UEAPME.

SMEunited
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