European waste industry body FEAD has backed a European Parliament report calling for mandatory rules on recycled content in new products if companies fail in their voluntary commitments.
Its report European strategy for plastics in a circular economy by EU rapporteur and Belgian Conservative MEP Mark Demesmaeker made a number of recommendations to help create a “genuine market” for recycled plastics.
It called on the European Commission to “come forward swiftly with quality standards in order to build trust and incentivise the market for secondary plastics”.
The report said: “Mandatory rules on recycled content for specific products may be needed in order to drive the uptake of secondary raw materials.”
Demesmaeker also asked for member states to consider giving tax breaks through VAT to products with recycled content.
FEAD said that for the circular economy to work in the way the report suggested, plastic products should be designed for recycling, and a fourfold increase in investments would be needed to expand collection, sorting and recycling capacity.
“Our industry is prepared to make the necessary investments if there are legislative measures ensuring significant uptake of plastic recyclates,” it said, noting that this had become more urgent since China effectively banned the import of certain waste streams.
FEAD said voluntary industry agreements on recycled plastics were welcome “but will not be sufficient to create a solid European market of secondary raw materials”.