Zero Waste Europe call for better packaging design incentives for a circular economy


Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) has called for the European System of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) to introduce stronger incentives to design products and packaging for a circular economy. 

According to ZWE, the current incentives fail to promote a zero-waste outlook.   


It has based its view from a new research report from the Institute for European Environmental Policy, which has called for a re-evaluation of the European economic incentives of reduce, reuse and recycle for plastic packaging. 

The report highlights the need to increase prices where the packaging is designed for single use, incineration and landfill, rather than packaging designed for a circular economy. 

When plastic packaging becomes waste, only 40% of it gets recycled, with landfill and littering the most common result. 

ZWE product policy campaigner Ariadna Rodrigo said: “Within the current system of EPR, the products designed for recycling pay the same as those designed for landfill and incineration. This is not acceptable. EPR must reflect the waste hierarchy, where prevention, reuse and recycling are preferred options – in that very order.”