European plastics producers have argued that legislation should encourage collection and recycling of PET food containers, not set reduction targets for their use.
PET Sheet Europe, part of plastics industry association EuPC, made the call in response to the proposed Single-Use Plastics Directive, which is before the European Parliament.
PET sheet manufacturers have steadily increased the amount of recyclates in their products during the past few years, giving an effective way to reuse plastics, the group said.
Members of PET Sheet Europe use an average of 45% recycled content, and have committed to increase this to 70% by 2025.
The group urged European policy-makers to enforce the separate collection and recycling of PET trays, followed by specific targets, instead of using consumption reduction – a measure it said would sabotage the 70% commitment and other circular economy initiatives.
The proposed directive seeks to ensure that, by 2030, all plastics packaging placed on the EU market is reusable or easily recycled, and to support economic incentives to reward the most sustainable design choices.
It will also assess the potential for setting a new recycling target for plastic packaging, like those put forward in 2015 for other packaging materials.