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Takeaways from the rEUse event, Brussels - September 7th, 2023

Updated: Jan 11

The #rEUse event organised by New ERA - New European Reuse Alliance (Fernando Rodríguez-Mata - Iara Beekma Reis - Ulysse Revat-Dontenwill) and Planet Reuse - Platform & Network for Reusable Packaging (Manon Sennéchael) right in front of the iconic House of European Historygathered over 120 participants (person/online) from all corners of Europe, including Spain, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland, and more. 🌍✨

The event started by getting to the heart of the matter by showcasing a video made by @Fernando Antunes Amaral on the socio-ecological impact of paper-based packaging. Portugal is filled with green deserts of eucalyptus plantations, making the country Europe’s biggest eucalyptus pulp producer. These green deserts are highly flammable and play a key role in helping fires spread, which are disastrous for ecosystems and human health. @Fernando alerts that the industry is investing millions into lobbying efforts to make the public believe single-use paper based packaging is better than reusable packaging.

Video projection of socio-ecological impact of paper-based packaging - Portugal's perspective

Fernando Rodríguez-Mata continued by setting the scene regarding where we stand in the PPWR process, highlighting:

(1) the timeline with upcoming meetings and votes,

(2) the key measures under discussion towards reuse & refill targets in the takeaway, the beverage and the transport sectors and towards efficient, sustainable & convenient reuse systems.

Manon Sennéchael then highlighted the main learnings of the rEUse #campaign, sharing key facts and figures on the current single-use packaging waste crisis, highlighting the savings’ potential of reusable packaging and the new opportunities these models bring – from an economic perspective and a marketing and brand differentiation standpoint – and finishing by setting light on the scenarios for scaled reuse models.

We then shared a first glimpse into the continuation of the campaign with the #WeAreReuse video, showing the face of reuse businesses.

The second half of the event called on stage key speakers of the reuse industry, around 2 panel discussions:

🎙#1 - 'Building on success: the flourishing reuse industry in Europe' which was a great opportunity to offer an impressive panorama of some of the greatest examples of companies (or association of) successfully offering reusable packaging in key sectors across Europe and beyond with Vytal | The reuse system, Corplex, Bout'​ à Bout', Reusable Packaging Europe (RPE) and Uzaje. The panelists Dr. Tim Breker, Sarah Peudenier 🌎🔁 Kurt Jäger, Emmanuel auberger and Eva de la Torre Sans, demonstrated together once more that reusable packaging systems offer incomparable environmental and economic advantages when designed and incentivised properly.

🎙#2 - The role of the PPWR to unlock Europe's reuse potential. 3 keywords to take away from these discussions, which can serve as guiding principles for the continuation of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation #PPWR negotiations :

  • Collaboration: is a key driver for a well-designed system combining transparency and economic incentives. This principle needs to be recognised in the PPWR to scale up reuse systems across Europe.

  • Ambition: we need to elevate the ambition level of reuse by showcasing functional practices and successful businesses, while emphasising the significant role the regulation could play in fostering the development of reuse across Europe by reducing the virgin material use and littering

  • Time: will be a crucial element of the negotiations. We need to speed up to have a final version of the regulation before the end of the mandate, and to push this regulation as a source of inspiration for the negotiations of the international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.

If you were not able to join, or would like to revisit the event please follow the link for the full recording:


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