13 March 2023

Afera reboots Regulatory Affairs Working Group in the run up to Düsseldorf Committee Meetings

The first meeting in 2023

Afera has rebooted its engagement with regulatory affairs Member experts for the first time since the onset of Covid. On 27 January, 20 Afera Member Company Delegates, many of whom are responsible for environmental, regulatory and sustainability issues within their businesses, met to update themselves and decide on collective industry action on a number of running E.U. topics.

The E.U. regulatory topics affecting tape value chain companies

Afera Regulatory Affairs and Sustainability Manager Pablo Englebienne provided a “very nice, up-to-date overview” of policy dossiers consisting of the European Green Deal (EGD) topics:

  • The Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) revision and Regulation (PPWR)
  • The Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR)
  • The Construction Products Regulation (CPR)
  • The REACH revision and restrictions, polymer registration
  • Microplastics restriction
  • PVC restriction
  • The Bio-based & Biodegradable (or Compostable) Plastics Framework
  • Substantiating environmental claims
  • Right to Repair
  • Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive
  • General Product Safety Regulation (GPSR)
  • Packaging Labelling Requirements
  • Plastic Packaging Taxes.

During an online gathering described as “knowledgably and professionally steered” and “good and also necessary”, the group discussed taking action on developing a common Industry position on the categorisation of tape products in relation to packaging under the PPWR. They are also working on collecting and analysing feedback on “alternative additives in PVC and other plastics” as requested by ECHA with relation to an investigation on PVC and PVC additives mandated by the European Commission.

Reg-WG Members

The rebooted Regulatory Affairs Working Group includes the following Members:

  • Kinga Kmieć, 3M (PL)
  • Alan Gilding, Advance Tapes (UK)
  • Flora Papadimitriou, Atlas Tapes (GR)
  • Mayesh Babu, Avery Dennison Performance Tapes (B)
  • Jeff Burrington, H.B. Fuller (UK)
  • Anita Barni, ICAP-SIRA Chemicals and Polymers SpA (I)
  • Martin Wieczorek, Intertape Polymer Europe (D)
  • Axel Hessland, IVK, FEICA
  • Jennifer Weis, Lohmann (D)
  • Marco Galiazzo, NAR (I)
  • Ingrid Wasbauer, Nitto (B)
  • Arnaud Bremond, Group Chargeurs/subsidiary Novacel (F)
  • Carsten Böhmer, ORAFOL Europe (D)
  • Felix Korn, ORAFOL Europe (D)
  • Greg Johnson, PPI Adhesive Products (IR)
  • Martin Murphy, PPI Adhesive Products (IR)
  • Reinhard Storbeck, tesa (D)
  • Marc Bollmann, tesa (D)
  • Aitor Andueza, Cintas Adhesivas Ubis S.A. (E)
  • Alkan Çelik, Ve-Ge Fine Paper and Adhesive Tape Co. (TR)
  • Anja Füssinger, Volz Tapes (D)

Afera delegates Mr. Englebienne, Standardisation and Technical Consultant Karsten Seitz and Communications Specialist Bathsheba Fulton also participate in the Reg-WG.

“We are well-represented by tape manufacturers and those closer to responsibility of compliance in companies, so our interaction is going to be highly beneficial to them and the Industry as a whole,” commented Mr. Englebienne. “Through this working group, we will respond actively to E.U. public consultations and impact assessments—deciding how to act—and formulate joint Industry statements that make an impact on E.U. decision-making.”

“We as IVK are pleased to share and align our national view on the various regulatory topics with other European tape manufacturers in order to develop common European positions,” said Mr. Hessland. “Especially the E.U. Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability under the Green Deal and the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) are going to have a huge impact on the adhesive tapes future and business.”

With the importance of regulatory affairs very high and only increasing in the future, “it is interesting to gauge the opinions of the other Member Companies—as we expect Afera to do—and to hear about how they work to fulfil the E.U.’s regulatory requirements,” added Ms. Weiss. “Currently for us, the biggest issues are the REACH revision and polymer registration, along with ECHA’s efforts to restrict groups of substances and the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemicals (CLP) Regulation revision.”

“Far above technical or any other issues, the regulatory affairs we discussed today are of supreme importance to us,” explained Mr. Bollmann. “The Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation seriously impacts the adhesive tapes business. The Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) is also critical as it will determine the way we producers have to design all our products. ECHA’s study on PVC products is highly relevant too, because PVC tapes are a large part of the packaging tape business.”

Next Meetings in 2023

Reg-WG meetings will take place on 11 April, 19 June, 21 September and 5 December. Contact Mr. Englebienne if you would like to participate.