Research by the European Commission into ways to improve plastic recycling rates and reduce the industry’s reliance on virgin materials is being underpinned by the Eunomia consultancy.
In partnership with global consulting and technology services firm ICF, Eunomia will develop an evidence base for the Commission’s plastics strategy, expected at the end of 2017.
Eunomia said the research will highlight obstacles to achieving key objectives in the strategy, and identify measures which help to drive the plastics economy in a more circular manner. This includes fostering the prevention of some plastic wastes, improving design to boost recycling and reuse, and increasing recycling performance.
Eunomia senior consultant Tim Elliott, technical manager for the project, said: “The use of the material has increased rapidly and is continuing to grow. However, more could be done to ensure the material is used responsibly and managed effectively at the end of its first life.
“The push for additional action comes as the evidence mounts regarding the negative effects of plastic entering our natural environment, resulting in harm to wildlife.
”The prevalence of littered plastic, and the relatively low levels at which many plastics are recycled, suggests that more needs to be done to tackle these problems effectively.”
As part of the project, representatives from a range of organisations are being invited to a conference ‘Reinventing Plastics – Closing the Circle’ in Brussels on 26 September.