Incoming European Parliament must defend European Industry and Jobs

By diverting waste back into the circular economy, the PET industry offers a packaging that is fully recyclable in practice and at scale

By Antonello Ciotti

Antonello Ciotti is President of Petcore Europe

16 Feb 2024

Few people could have predicted the series of events that unfolded during the 2019-2024 European Parliament mandate - from Brexit and Covid-19 through to wars on our doorstep and blockades of our trade routes. The fast-evolving global landscape not only reminds us of our vulnerability, but also underlines the importance of retaining key manufacturing industries within the EU27 and upholding European competitiveness. 

Against a background of continued economic and political uncertainty it is vital that the incoming European Parliament defends and supports European manufacturing. We must not lose the ability to produce critical materials within our own borders or threaten the existence of key industrial sectors by weighing down domestic producers with disproportionate regulatory burdens or failing to protect them against unfair practices and competition. Europe’s economy needs a strong primary manufacturing base. 

Take the PET industry. PET is used to make bottles and trays and the sector has been subject to a raft of EU legislation in recent years - including the very specific requirements of the Single Use Plastics Directive and the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation.  No other material has received such specific targets.  

It is largely thanks to these pieces of legislation that the PET value chain is already way ahead of the field and well on its way to meeting its targets of segregated collection, 90% collection by 2029 and minimum 30% recycled content by 2030. Moreover, we are proving that these targets can be achieved. Today, one-third of EU markets already reach 90% PET bottle collection due to enabling policies and infrastructure and PET is steadily being used in reuse systems too – such as bottled water in Germany.  

As primary producers of a widely-used material for packaging, our sector recognises that it has a major responsibility and we take it very seriously. Post consumer PET bottles are a precious secondary raw material for the production of a long list of goods which are in condition to preserve food, drugs, medications and many other goods essential for our wellbeing. 

By diverting waste away from landfill or incineration and back into the circular economy, the PET industry offers a packaging that is fully recyclable in practice and at scale. This supports the ambitions of a raft of stakeholders including governments – who want to transition to a low carbon future; consumers – who are keen to end plastic waste; and brand owners – who want sustainable packaging options. Equally importantly, by continuing to collect and recycle its raw material, Europe’s PET industry is also addressing the shared objectives of industry, government and civic society who are looking to build a sustainable and fair business environment.  

When I reflect on the demonstrations in front of the European Parliament in Brussels recently, I see that our concerns are actually very similar to those of the people taking to the streets: ensuring a fair, level playing field for Europe’s domestic industries will protect both our EU economy and the livelihoods of millions of citizens.   

The 2024-2029 European Parliament must work to create sustainable production models that support Europe’s industries and ensure that they can continue to compete on the global stage. 

In partnership with


This article was produced in partnership with PETcore Europe

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