On October 28th, ANEABE (Association of Mineral Waters of Spain) organized the III Sustainability Conference, Closing the Loop, where the Sustainability Report of the Mineral Water Sector: “Naturally Committed” for the year 2020 was presented, which includes the milestones achieved by the sector in terms of sustainability, and in which the current challenges and challenges to achieve circularity were discussed, with special emphasis on the draft Royal Decree on Packaging and Packaging Waste and its terrible impact on the sector and for the enviroment.
As a summary of the event and collecting the key messages, we share the final intervention of the president of ANEABE, Francisco Vallejo, a message more than correct and based on data, against the messages without scientific basis that have been repeated so much in recent times.
Irene Zafra, Secretary General of ANEABE, reaffirmed that the application of the proposed regulation, which includes a 50% reduction in plastic bottles placed on the market in 2030, would be unaffordable for the sector, leading to the disappearance of the majority of mineral water companies, being that they have already adapted to the changes required around the incorporation of recycled PET in their containers.
The Sustainability Report of the Mineral Water Sector showed the high degree of commitment of all companies in the sector to sustainability. This is evident, among many other achievements, with two key figures:
- In 2020, on average, 28% of the PET plastic used by the mineral water sector was already recycled post-consumer, a figure that doubles the 2019 data and exceeds the target set by European legislation for 2025.
- All the containers used by the mineral water sector are infinitely recyclable and, according to ECOEMBES data, the recycling rate for PET is 83.1%, reaching 93.8% in PET beverage bottles of <3 liters.
An interesting day where many innovative practices were shared to contribute to the development of a Circular Economy, and a discussion table in which Novapet participated in the hands of our head of Recycling and Circular Economy, Víctor Monge, where the different points of view on the RD Containers project and the needs that most Spanish companies share and that from Novapet, Víctor summarized in three main ones:
- The need to promote public-private collaboration for better waste management and new selective collection systems, aimed at the circularity of materials, with which to achieve a greater quantity of post-consumer material, and of better quality, thus covering the needs and objectives of the sector, eager to continue advancing in terms of sustainability.
- The duty to rely on science and data to take environmental measures, avoiding slogans and legislative greenwhasing as proposed by the new draft Royal Decree, which demonizes PET without taking into account its proven virtues, both for the citizen and for the planet, being a fully recyclable material that produces up to 70% less greenhouse effect emissions than other alternatives in its life cycle.
- The importance of a stable legislative framework that protects the changes in production systems that many companies have made, with huge investments to supply the current and growing demand for recycled PET, and investment in innovation, eco-design and new recycling technologies , chemical and mechanical.
As conclusions to the conference, the president of ANEABE, Francisco Vallejo, made it clear that the Mineral Water Sector shares the government’s concern to improve the packaging waste management system, but stated that “some of the measures proposed in the draft Royal Decree, seem to be based on an erroneous and subjective image of plastic containers, and not on scientific rigor or technical tools, being able to encourage their replacement by other alternatives, more difficult to recycle at the end of their life and with greater environmental impact”.
From Novapet we share his position 100%, since we see that lack of scientific rigor in the proposed DR. Additionally, Francisco Vallejo stressed that “the Royal Decree does not reinforce the concept of Circular Economy proposed by the European Union and on which the sector has focused. Therefore, the Royal Decree should take into account the work carried out by the companies and the opinion of all the agents involved so that, with scientific and technical criteria, the measures that achieve the established objectives are established ”.
In the same way, we share his final conclusion that “PET material that incorporates a water bottle is, today by far, the most circular container in existence, since it is the only recycled plastic that meets the quality and food safety requirements. to be used in contact with food ”.
An interesting day that shows a reality parallel to many of the existing regulations that, due to misinformation about materials and sustainability, makes the effort of many agents in the sector be diminished, undervalued and questioned, by laws that come and go in different directions. apparently contrary.
It is our duty, as a company that produces resins, recycling and concentrates, preforms and PET containers, to call for institutional responsibility, so that this Royal Decree on Containers and Packaging Waste is channeled to help achieve what we all want and we need: a sustainable and circular economy.
We leave you the full video of the conference: