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The National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) Secures Major Win for Wooden Pallet Manufacturers in New EU Packaging Regulation

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 26, 2024 /CNW/ -- NWPCA today announced a significant victory for wooden pallet manufacturers worldwide following the finalization of the European Union's (EU) Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). NWPCA's successful advocacy efforts secured an exemption from the regulation's reuse requirements for wooden pallets entering and leaving the EU under load.

The PPWR aims to tackle the pressing issue of packaging waste by introducing rules for all packaging placed on the EU market. Key objectives of the regulation include reducing packaging waste through recycling and reuse initiatives. As wood is a natural and fully recyclable material, NWPCA fully supported the PPWR's aims to reduce waste and promote recycling. However, concerns arose regarding the prioritization of reusability over recyclability and the interpretation and implementation of the pallet reuse requirements, which posed a significant challenge to manufacturers and stakeholders.

Recognizing the potential impact on the wooden pallet industry and its users, the NWPCA engaged extensively with EU decision-makers, including the European Commission, the European Parliament, and member states in the Council of the EU. NWPCA explained the logistical issues with managing a reuse system of imported pallets and advocated for a targeted exemption to alleviate these burdensome requirements for wooden pallets entering and leaving the EU under load. Through consistent communication and collaboration with key stakeholders, NWPCA actively built support for this critical exemption.

Jason Ortega, Vice President of Public Affairs at NWPCA, stated, "This exemption is a clear win for wooden pallet manufacturers globally. Any company shipping goods into or out of the EU on a pallet will be exempt from challenging and costly reuse requirements. Wood pallets are made from a natural, renewable resource, and billions of them serve as the backbone of the supply chain. We know that in the United States, they are recovered and recycled 95% of the time, more than any other packaging product. We do not contribute to the growing global landfill problem. Our successful engagement on this issue minimizes supply chain disruptions and safeguards the pallet industry's vitality."

NWPCA's success in securing the inclusion of the "within the territory of the Union" language in the final negotiated text is a testament to the organization's steadfast dedication and collaborative approach. NWPCA acknowledges the invaluable support of its partners, including the international membership of the Global Wood Packaging Forum, the Canadian Wood Pallet & Container Association, the UK Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation, and allies in the Canadian and United States governments, whose collective efforts helped raise awareness and advocate for the exemption.

The final adoption of the negotiated text by each branch of the EU institutions is anticipated to proceed smoothly, paving the way for the regulation's implementation phase. NWPCA remains committed to supporting sustainable solutions within the transport packaging sector and celebrates this milestone achievement as a testament to the power of collaboration and advocacy.

The National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) is the largest organization of wood packaging professionals globally, with more than 800 company members in 28 countries who manufacture, repair and distribute pallets and wood packaging in unit-load solutions, or who supply products and services to the industry. To learn more about NWPCA, visit palletcentral.com.

SOURCE National Wooden Pallet & Container Association

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