EUMEPS at UNEP Meeting: Advocating a for Sustainable EPS

As the date for the third ses­sion of the Inter­gov­ern­men­tal Nego­ti­at­ing Com­mit­tee (INC‑3) approach­es, EUMEPS is active­ly prepar­ing to make mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tions to this sig­nif­i­cant event. Sched­uled for 13 to 19 Novem­ber 2023 in Nairo­bi, Kenya, INC‑3 is not just anoth­er meet­ing on the inter­na­tion­al envi­ron­men­tal cal­en­dar; it is a crit­i­cal forum for shap­ing the future of plas­tic pol­lu­tion pol­i­cy. EUMEPS is among the select group of stake­hold­ers accred­it­ed to UNEP and will be send­ing a del­e­ga­tion led by our Direc­tor Gen­er­al Jür­gen Lang, Sus­tain­able Advi­sor Lea Sal­i­hovic, and Vice-Pres­i­dent Chresten Hei­de-Ander­son, with a focused agen­da to active­ly engage in the proceedings.


The Importance of INC‑3 and EUMEPS’ Contributions

INC‑3 car­ries enor­mous weight as it aims to devel­op an inter­na­tion­al legal­ly bind­ing instru­ment to tack­le plas­tic pol­lu­tion, notably in the marine envi­ron­ment. It will be pre­ced­ed by region­al con­sul­ta­tions on 12 Novem­ber and a prepara­to­ry meet­ing on 11 Novem­ber 2023. This under­scores the event’s crit­i­cal nature as a plat­form for inter­na­tion­al experts, pol­i­cy­mak­ers, and indus­tri­al stakeholders.


EUMEPS’ Commitment to Sustainability: The Global EPS Sustainability Alliance

Our par­tic­i­pa­tion in INC‑3 is in align­ment with EUMEPS’ com­mit­ment to the sus­tain­able devel­op­ment of the EPS indus­try. To this end, we have co-found­ed the Glob­al EPS Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Alliance. This inter­na­tion­al part­ner­ship, which includes indus­try fron­trun­ners from the Unit­ed States and Aus­tralia, is ded­i­cat­ed to advanc­ing the cir­cu­lar econ­o­my for EPS pack­ag­ing. By shar­ing best prac­tices in EPS resource man­age­ment, high recy­cling rates on glob­al and EU lev­els, sus­tain­able man­u­fac­tur­ing, and life cycle impact report­ing, the alliance pro­vides a uni­fied strat­e­gy to impact envi­ron­men­tal poli­cies at mul­ti­ple levels.

Chresten Hei­de-Ander­son, who heads EUMEPS’ task force on the Plas­tic Treaty, out­lines the industry’s achieve­ments and aspi­ra­tions: “We have been able to doc­u­ment that EPS pro­tec­tive and insu­lat­ed pack­ag­ing is among the most recy­cled types of plas­tic pack­ag­ing glob­al­ly, which is also recog­nised by the Ellen MacArthur Foun­da­tion.” He elab­o­rates that with around 40% of EPS pack­ag­ing in Europe being recy­cled, the Euro­pean EPS indus­try has effec­tive­ly matched the recy­cling rates of oth­er plas­tic pack­ag­ing types. The pri­ma­ry goal at the upcom­ing INC‑3 ses­sion and beyond is to secure wide­spread acknowl­edge­ment of EPS as a gen­uine­ly cir­cu­lar mate­r­i­al and an essen­tial com­po­nent in the glob­al shift towards cli­mate neutrality.


EUMEPS’ Con­tin­ued Lead­er­ship in Shap­ing a Sus­tain­able EPS Industry

The INC‑3 ses­sion is a piv­otal junc­ture for EUMEPS to extend its lead­er­ship in shap­ing the EPS sector’s future. “Our tar­get­ed involve­ment in these impor­tant dis­cus­sions is designed to offer tech­ni­cal exper­tise and to spot­light ini­tia­tives like the Glob­al EPS Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Alliance. In doing so, we aim to solid­i­fy our role as a valu­able part­ner and author­i­ta­tive resource for EU reg­u­la­tors, par­lia­men­tar­i­ans, and NGO mem­bers“, con­cludes Jür­gen Lang.

For those inter­est­ed in the sus­tain­able devel­op­ment of the EPS indus­try and broad­er envi­ron­men­tal objec­tives, EUMEPS stands as the ide­al part­ner. We invite you to engage with us fur­ther on these cru­cial topics.

AuthorIngrid Morin