In recent years, a focus on sustainable development has become a mainstream within a broad range of EU policies. With regards to sustainable consumption and production, the Commission proposed a Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy Action Plan (SCP Action Plan) in July 2008. It brought a package of measures – built on a number of existing policies and existing legislation – which introduces new provisions for producers, consumers and Member States for 'greening' their activities, products, and behaviours.
In preparation for its revision at the end of 2012, the European Commission launched a public consultation. The results helped the development of a single market for green products in Europe. The Communication ''Building the Single Market for Green Products'' was published in April 2013 together with the Product Environmental Footprint guidelines. The Communication aims to:
The food and drink sector will be further addressed in a Communication on sustainable food in late 2013 with measures to address food wastage, and proposal for the development of sustainability criteria for food and drink products and their packaging.
The beverage carton industry expects politicians and policymakers to create a level playing field with clear rules about what is required and by when. Industry needs a fair and predictable playing field to prevent market distortions and to stimulate and protect the industry's long term environmental investments and commitments.