16.01.2020 change 16.01.2020

Poles Use Less Packaging Than Other EU Countries But Consumption Growing, Says Report

Credit: Fotolia Credit: Fotolia

Poles use of packaging is less than in other EU countries, a new report shows.

According to the Polish Economic Institute, on average Poles use about 160 kg of packaging a year, compared to 180kg in the rest of the EU.

In the latest issue of Tygodnik Gospodarczy PIE, the institute says that around six million tonnes of packaging is produced in Poland every year, a 3.4 percent share of the entire manufacturing output in Poland, which is almost double the EU average.

In Poland, plastic packaging (about 40%) dominates, half of which is flexible packaging (bags, foil, etc.) and rigid packaging (bottles, boxes, etc.).

Paper packaging is at approx. 37%, light metals - 12%, and glass - about 10%.

The main recipients of packaging materials are food producers responsible for the use of over 60 percent packaging materials, pharmaceutical (7%) and cosmetics (6%). “The remainder of the demand for packaging materials comes from producers of household chemicals and other industrial goods,” the report says.

But while the average consumption per capita of packaging materials in the European Union is higher than in Poland, recently the use of packaging for the needs of goods sold in Poland has been growing dynamically, by nearly 12 percent per year, the report says.

Further development of the packaging industry will be influenced by new European Union regulations aimed at reducing waste production and `maximizing recovery of materials in European economies`.

The report’s authors say: “By July 2020, national provisions should be adopted to regulate the implementation of provisions arising from Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council on packaging and packaging waste.”

The Institute says that producers of plastic and disposable goods will be most affected by the changes. “The restriction on the consumption of disposable products will affect about 10 percent of the gross production volume, mainly small and medium-sized companies. On the other hand, increases in recycling fees, and in some cases also fees covering the costs of cleaning public space, i.e. extended producer responsibility (ERP), will be one of the biggest challenges for the industry`, the report says.

According to experts, extended producer responsibility should reduce the demand for packaging materials that are more difficult to recycle. In this case, the main victims may be producers of plastic packaging.

Changes in consumer preferences will also have a significant impact on the further development of the packaging industry. “On one hand, there is a growing interest in ecological packaging and reducing the consumption of raw materials. According to the ARC Market and Opinion survey, 84 percent Poles declare that if products in returnable packaging were available, they would use them`, says the report. On the other hand, the changing family life model, growing income and demand for ready meals increases the demand for packaging materials.

The institute also cites the report `Packaging revolution. Polish producers in the face of changes in regulation and consumer preferences`, which shows that the adaptation of the packaging industry to new EU regulations will require “the ability to cooperate between entities throughout the entire supply chain.”

According to EU regulations, producers of packaging products will finance the collection and management of packaging waste at a much higher level than currently. EU regulations also set new goals for the reuse and recycling of municipal waste. By 2025, EU countries are required to manage 55% waste, by 2030 - 60%, and by 2035 - 65% Current regulations oblige Member States to manage (recycling and reuse) 50% waste in 2020.

Goals were also set for packaging waste recycling. For all packaging materials, this goal will be 65%. by 2025 and 70 percent by 2030. For plastic packaging it is: 50 and 55 percent, wooden packaging: 25 and 30 percent, ferrous metal packaging: 70 and 80 percent, aluminium: 50 and 60 percent, glass: 70 and 75 percent, and paper and cardboard: 75 and 85 percent. (PAP)

author: Magdalena Jarco

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