European industry is generally succeeding in meeting EU requirements for recycling, though must not lose focus on the commitment, according to packaging association Europen.
Many of the original 15 EU member states have already surpassed their 2008 recycling targets for packaging waste, with more recent inductees also on track for their respective aims, claims a new report by the group.
With food and beverage processors under increasing pressure to ensure their goods are packaged in a sustainable way, Europen managing director Julian Carroll told FoodProductionDaily.com that industry should play up its achievements.
"More money and time could certainly be spent in communicating success in reducing the packaging going into landfill sites," he stated.
Despite his praise, Carroll added that governments and manufacturers should not rest on their laurels, especially in countries that still lack sufficient infrastructure to achieve their green aims.
The claims come after the European Commission decided against its original plan of setting new recycling targets for the five-year period up to 2014 by 31 December this year. The commission ruled at the end of last year that current targets for recycling were already at an optimal level, deciding therefore that a fixed rate would allow states faring less well to catch up.
Though no new targets have been set for packaging recycling in the bloc, Carrol refuted some fears that governments and industry may become complacent in their aims.
"The targets set out for 2008 still remain in place, and each member state must continue to report their progress to the European Commission," he said.
A further assessment of the bloc's progress on recycling and recovering of packaging waste is expected in the upcoming 2010 review of the Thematic Strategy on the Prevention and Recycling of all waste.