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European plastics sector sets out CE stall

Plastics packaging waste

Europe’s leading plastic associations have issued a joint call for zero plastics to landfill, mandatory separate collection of packaging and a uniform methodology for calculating and monitoring targets.

The three bodies – EuPC, PlasticsEurope and PRE (see box below) – want the European Commission and Parliament to embrace the recommendations within the circular economy (CE) package of proposals currently under consideration.

They are calling for:

  • No plastics to landfill by 2025
  • Mandatory separate collection of all packaging from residual waste by 2025
  • Uniform methodology for the calculation of the targets of ’preparing for reuse and recycling’
  • A common measurement point for recycling performance
  • EU-wide quality standards for plastic waste and its treatment, including specifications for sorted waste
  • Support for innovation in technologies throughout the plastics value chain to increase the potential for recycling

The associations add that a 55% target of preparing for reuse and recycling target by 2025 is challenging but have called for all stakeholders to embrace it.

Patrick Thomas, president of PlasticsEurope said: “For the CE to deliver long-term and sustainable environmental benefits, it is essential that the whole life cycle of products is taken into account from the perspective of a low-carbon economy.”

Ton Emans, PRE president, said recycling will play a growing role in plastics: “The current legislative push is going in the right direction and this joint industry position translates this trend. Further work must be achieved in terms of design for recycling, controls of waste export and pull mechanism.”

The European plastics industry comprises more than 62,000 companies providing more than 1.4 million jobs.

  • EuPC represents 51 European and national plastics converting industry associations
  • PlasticsEurope has more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of polymers across member states plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey
  • PRE members represent 80% of the European recycling capacity, processing more than three million tonnes of collected plastics a year

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