11. July 2017

20 Years EPRO: Multinational successful networking for sustainable handling of plastic waste

Wiesbaden, July 2017 – EPRO, the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations (www.EPRO-plasticsrecycling.org), looks back on 20 years of successful work for the environmentally friendly taking back and recycling of plastic waste. Founded in 1997 as a pan-European network of initially 8 organizations, the number of members with the recently announced accession of IFFPG, the Irish return system for agriculturally used plastics, has currently grown to 20 partners from 17 countries.

Liam Moloney, Managing Director of IFFPG and youngest member of the EPRO family, states the reasons why IFFPG joined EPRO: “IFFPG joined EPRO recently with a number of key objectives in mind. These objectives include exchanging ideas with other members and sharing information with regards to best practice in relation to plastics recovery. We are also interested in finding out about impending EU legislation and in having a voice in influencing legislation through membership of a strong representative body. Our decision to join was also influenced by the quality of the existing membership, some of whom we had very positive 
interactions with before joining EPRO.”

German members are Der Grüne Punkt, Köln and RIGK GmbH, Wiesbaden. Thus, the association is today present in almost all regions of North, Western and Southern Europe as well as in Canada and South Africa. In this countries, EPRO helps to optimize national opportunities through an international exchange of experience. A central concern is to make approved solutions internationally known and to adapt them to national conditions in order to promote a sustainable use of plastics. In working groups EPRO focuses on specific activity in the fields of Agricultural Plastics, EPBP (European PET Bottle Platform), Statistics and 
EuCertPlast (European Certification for Plastics Recyclers).

Peter Sundt, one of the founders of EPRO in 1997 and since 2005 the secretray general of EPRO explains: “In 1997, most countries in Europe had just established their EPR schemes for plastic packaging. Several organisations had a need to exchange and learn from similar systems. In 1997 the Austrian take back system invited to a first meeting in Vienna. Base don this very first meeting EPRO was established with the aim to exchange experinec and thus optimise national effectiveness through international co-operation. 20 years later, we are 20 members, from 17 countries, inclusive Canada and South Africa. The scope of EPRO has also been extended into all kinds of plastics from the agriculture sector, both packaging and non packaging plastics. Thanks also to EPRO, members have met their national recycling targets. Now, based on circular economy package, EPRO and it members prepare for higher targets, we are prepared and looking forward to meet new challenges.“

EPRO, die European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations EPRO, the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations 
(www.epro-plasticsrecycling.org), is a pan-European partnership of specialist organisations that are able to develop and deliver efficient solutions for the sustainable management of plastics waste, now and for the future. EPRO members are working to optimise national effectiveness through international cooperation: by studying successful approaches, evaluating different solutions and examining obstacles to progress. By working together, EPRO members can achieve synergies that will increase efficient plastics recycling and recovery. Currently 20 organisations in 17 countries are represented in EPRO.

As a certified specialist company for trademark users (fillers, distributors, traders and importers), RIGK GmbH (www.rigk.de), founded in 1992, organises the recovery of used, empty packaging and plastics from its German customers and arranges the safe and sustainable recycling of them. In addition, the company provides advice on the development of individual recovery and recycling solutions. On an international level, RIGK is represented in Romania and Chile. The Romanian subsidiary (www.rigk.ro) also undertakes the recovery and recycling of used packaging and plastics there. RIGK Chile SpA advises local industry in establishing their systems and complying with legal environmental and recycling constraints. The shareholders of RIGK GmbH are well-known manufacturers of plastics and packaging. RIGK GmbH has been a member of EPRO since 2006, where it established the working group for the recycling of agricultural plastics waste. Together with EPRO, RIGK organizes the International Recycling Forum in Wiesbaden.

Further information:
RIGK GmbH
Claudia Hoese
Marketing und Kundenbetreuung
Friedrichstr. 6, 65185 Wiesbaden, Germany
Tel.: +49 611 308600-12, Fax: -30
hoese(at)rigk.dewww.rigk.de

Epro members Europe
1997 EPRO was founded as pan-European association of 8 plastics recycling and recovery organisations. In the year of its twentieth anniversary, EPRO expanded the number of its members to 20. Picture ©EPRO
20 Jahre Epro