European waste management industry body FEAD has hailed a move by the European Commission to set a minimum of 35% recycled content in plastic drinking bottles as a “crucial step”.
A meeting of the Commission’s Environment Committee on 10 October approved measures that would see manufacturers obliged to meet the target by 2025.
The original proposal put before MEPs was for 25% minimum content, but this was raised following negotiation before the vote.
The motion will now need to be approved by a full meeting of the European Parliament on 23 October.
The amended proposal said: “Member states shall ensure that by 2025 beverage bottles … may be placed on the market only if they are made from at least 35% recycled content and are recyclable.”
FEAD said: “This proposal will encourage the creation of a steady market for recyclates, and will ensure a more circular use of plastics.
“Our industry is prepared to make the necessary investments if there are legislative measures ensuring a significant uptake of plastic recyclates – which is becoming even more necessary by the minute in view of the Chinese ban on imports of certain waste streams.”
The Environment Committee also voted through a range of policies to cut back on single-use plastic, including a ban on plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds.
In addition, ‘very lightweight’ plastic bags, products made of oxo-degradable plastics and fast-food containers made of expanded polystyrene will also be banned, following amendments to the original proposal.
Member states would also be required to collect and recycle 90% of plastic drinking bottles by 2025.
Frédérique Ries, Belgian MEP and rapporteur, said: “Europe is responsible for only a small part of the plastic polluting our oceans. It can and should, however, be a key player in finding a solution, leading at a global level, as it has done in the past in the fight against climate change.
“Prohibit, reduce, tax, but also replace, warn – member states have many options to choose from. It is up to them to choose wisely and up to us to keep pushing for more. “