Cycling Industries Europe (CIE) and the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) have launched an industry-wide commitment to reduce plastic packaging and eliminate unnecessary packaging from the supply chain.
The pledge has been signed by just under 70 founding companies and others are invited to follow suit.
“Cycling is at the core of the mobility transition, making sure Europe is cleaner, greener and more liveable,” said Kevin Mayne, CEO of CIE. “The way our industry operates has to meet the same high ambitions, so we need to be at the forefront of a sustainable industrial sector.
“CIE and CONEBI have set an ambitious agenda to tackle important industry-wide challenges and to initiate pioneering initiatives and actions across the supply chain, this packaging initiative is the first of many ways we will act to reduce our environmental impact.”
Manuel Marsilio, general manager of CONEBI, said: “Our Industry Sustainability Programme puts the concept of cooperation within the industry at the centre of a wide strategy that is both in line and reinforces the European Green Deal.
“What we see today is that a growing number of companies are ready to take their CSR actions to ambitious heights, proactively engage in the ongoing Green transition and Circular Economy, shaping them with a forward-looking mindset.”
In 2019, the volume of packaging waste in the EU reached a record high of 79.3 million tonnes, 60% of which was paper, cardboard and plastic. In the US, plastic packaging alone created over 14.5 million tons of waste. The UN Sustainable Development Goals estimate, by 2050, the resource of three planets will be required to sustain the lifestyles of one.
Cycling organisations are now uniting behind a shared vision of creating a circular economy for packaging, contributing to the European Commission’s goal for a new circular economy. This vision covers all packaging material.
For plastic specifically, it is inspired by and closely aligned with the vision of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s ‘New Plastics Economy Initiative’, also adopted in the ‘Global Commitment’ led by the Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme. This vision is also endorsed by US-based People For Bikes.
Cycling industry sustainable packaging commitment:
1. Sharing and endorsing the common vision for more circular and sustainable packaging solutions with your supply chain partners
2. Working with supply chain partners to reduce problematic plastic packaging and eliminate unnecessary packaging within your supply chain by 2025
3. Working with supply chain partners to ensure that all supply chain packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025
4. Working with supply chain partners to increase recycled content within packaging materials by 2025
5. Creating customer/retail facing packaging commitments, which align with or exceed the common vision by 2025
6. Sharing progress and update with the wider cycling industry through the CONEBI/CIE Sustainability working group forum
The full commitment letter can be found here.
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Louisa Holbrook, head of sustainability at Brompton Bicycle, said: “At Brompton Bicycle we are proud to make a bike that by its very nature addresses existing environmental and social issues. But when faced with a climate emergency we cannot rest on our bike manufacturer laurels.
“Supplier packaging may only be the tip of the ever-decreasing iceberg, but it’s an important start. I am proud to be part of this aligned industry approach, but the real work starts now by implementation and creating positive change.”