Move to More Circular Economy Backed by Plastics Industry : EU Strategy on Plastics Welcomed by European Plastics Converters

plastics recyclling europe commission eupc

The Europe-wide strategy on plastics adopted earlier this week as part of the transition towards a more circular economy has been welcomed by trade body, European Plastics Converters (EuPC).

According to the Commission it will protect the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation, turning a challenge into a positive agenda for the Future of Europe.

It added that there is a strong business case for transforming the way products are designed, produced, used, and recycled in the EU and by taking the lead in this transition, we will create new investment opportunities and jobs. Under the new plans, all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable by 2030, the consumption of single-use plastics will be reduced and the intentional use of microplastics will be restricted.

"If we don't change the way we produce and use plastics, there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans by 2050. We must stop plastics getting into our water, our food, and even our bodies. The only long-term solution is to reduce plastic waste by recycling and reusing more,” said First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development.

“This is a challenge that citizens, industry and governments must tackle together. With the EU Plastics Strategy we are also driving a new and more circular business model. We need to invest in innovative new technologies that keep our citizens and our environment safe whilst keeping our industry competitive," he continued.

The strategy focusses on 4 key measures to initiate a more sustainable production, use and disposal of plastics: the improvement of the economics and quality of plastics recycling, the reduction of plastics waste and littering, the increase of innovation and investment, and the efforts to create global action. Concrete measures are announced to reach the ambitious goal that by 2030, 100% of plastics packaging put on the market will be either reusable or recyclable in a cost-effective manner.

EuPC said that it fully supports the vision to create a more prosperous, sustainable and circular plastics economy in Europe.

“Real industrial transformation can only be achieved through joint action by all stakeholders from the entire plastics value chain and with the support of authorities and consumers alike,” commented Alexandre Dangis, EuPC Managing Director.

In particular, EuPC said that it appreciates the recognition of the added value of plastics in the strategy and the need to rethink certain aspects from a broader point view, where all actors have a role to play in shaping the vision.

The reference of value chain cooperation and the role of the industry in tackling voluntarily some issues is welcome and EuPC and its members have accepted their responsibility through the approval of the framework of voluntary commitments.

“Better waste collection, sorting and treatment is crucial to improve the quality of recycled plastics materials (rPM) and to boost the uptake of rPM by converters. A better waste management, the elimination of the landfilling of plastics waste and educated consumers are the most important factors to reduce littering and environmental pollution,” concluded Dangis.

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