PRO EUROPE, the Brussels based Packaging Recovery Organisation Europe s.p.r.l., was founded in 1995 by Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD), Eco-Emballages S.a. France, FOST Plus Belgium and ARA Altstoff Recycling Austria AG.
PRO EUROPE is the umbrella organisation of all national producer responsibility systems as well as the platform for an exchange of information and the ongoing development of packaging recovery in Europe.
One of PRO EUROPE´s main goals is to avoid trade barriers in the implementation of EU Directive 2004/12/EC on packaging and packaging waste. National and European waste policy must not hinder the promotion of the free movement of goods between Member States, which means that the organization of packaging recovery can only function throughout Europe if the individual States work together.
The primary task of PRO EUROPE is to award the Green Dot financing mark to qualified national collection and recovery systems (ETO in Estonia). In 1996, DSD granted PRO EUROPE the right to use the Green Dot trademark in the form of a general license for the entire territory of the European Union (with the exception of Germany), the European Economic Area and EU candidate countries.
The main task of PRO EUROPE’s members is to organize the introduction of adequate national collection systems, particularly for sales packaging and subsequent recovery. Since its foundation PRO EUROPE has become the hub of a European network which organises exchanges of experience and know-how between the national compliance schemes. This ranges from establishing bilateral contacts to organizing regular meetings between all 27 systems (21 EU Member States, four candidate countries, Norway and Canada). There are also a number of working groups on specialized topics such as technology, marketing, packaging waste prevention and system development. Via the working groups, PRO EUROPE’s members have become important discussion partners for the European Commission and the European Parliament, and have presented detailed position papers on key policies such as the revision of Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, the current review of Directive 75/442/EEC on waste (Waste Framework Directive) and the Commission’s report on the implementation of Directive 94/62/EC.
The working groups have also examined the clarification of definition-based questions, for instance what falls under “packaging” and “products”. All position papers are readily available on PRO EUROPE’s website (www.pro-europe.info). International cooperation between producer responsibility
organisations has led to the creation of numerous European projects on a variety of issues such as prevention and environmental education. PRO EUROPE’s goal is to continue to encourage this international collaboration. The Youth Eco-Parliament®, for example, exemplifies international cooperation and citizens involvement in tackling environmental issues (www.eyep.info).
For more information about PRO EUROPE please click here: http://www.pro-europe.info..