EUMEPS’ Participation at the UNEP Meeting in Nairobi: A Focused Agenda for a Sustainable EPS Future

As the date for the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) approaches, EUMEPS is actively preparing to make meaningful contributions to this significant event. Scheduled for 13 to 19 November 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya, INC-3 is not just another meeting on the international environmental calendar; it is a critical forum for shaping the future of plastic pollution policy. EUMEPS among the select group of stakeholders accredited to UNEP and will be sending a delegation led by our Director General Jürgen Lang, Sustainable Advisor Lea Salihovic, and Vice-President Chresten Heide-Anderson, with a focused agenda to actively engage in the proceedings.


The Importance of INC-3 and EUMEPS’ Contributions

INC-3 carries enormous weight as it aims to develop an international legally binding instrument to tackle plastic pollution, notably in the marine environment. It will be preceded by regional consultations on 12 November and a preparatory meeting on 11 November 2023. This underscores the event’s critical nature as a platform for international experts, policymakers, and industrial stakeholders.


EUMEPS’ Commitment to Sustainability: The Global EPS Sustainability Alliance

Our participation in INC-3 is in alignment with EUMEPS’ commitment to the sustainable development of the EPS industry. To this end, we have co-founded the Global EPS Sustainability Alliance. This international partnership, which includes industry frontrunners from the United States and Australia, is dedicated to advancing the circular economy for EPS packaging. By sharing best practices in EPS resource management, high recycling rates on global and EU levels, sustainable manufacturing, and life cycle impact reporting, the alliance provides a unified strategy to impact environmental policies at multiple levels.

Chresten Heide-Anderson, who heads EUMEPS’ task force on the Plastic Treaty, outlines the industry’s achievements and aspirations: “We have in fact been able to document that EPS protective and insulated packaging is among the most recycled types of plastic packaging globally, which is also recognised by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.” He elaborates that with around 40% of EPS packaging in Europe being recycled, the European EPS industry has effectively matched the recycling rates of other plastic packaging types. The primary goal at the upcoming INC-3 session and beyond is to secure widespread acknowledgment of EPS as a genuinely circular material and an essential component in the global shift towards climate neutrality.


EUMEPS’ Continued Leadership in Shaping a Sustainable EPS Industry

The INC-3 session is a pivotal juncture for EUMEPS to extend its leadership in shaping the EPS sector’s future. “Our targeted involvement in these important discussions is designed to offer technical expertise and to spotlight initiatives like the Global EPS Sustainability Alliance. In doing so, we aim to solidify our role as a valuable partner and authoritative resource for EU regulators, parliamentarians, and NGO members“, concludes Jürgen Lang. 


For those interested in the sustainable development of the EPS industry and broader environmental objectives, EUMEPS stands as the ideal partner. We invite you to engage with us further on these crucial topics.