Plastic Producers Launch "Plastics 2030"
PlasticsEurope Welcomes new European Plastics Strategy
In a first reaction, PlasticsEurope, the European Association of Plastics Manufacturers, welcomes the publication by the European Commission of “A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy”. The association supports the creation of a joint vision for a truly circular and resource efficient Europe, the promotion of actions aimed at tackling plastics leakage into the environment, increasing recycling and re-use.
In order to support the ambitious recycling goals, the Strategy for Plastics stresses the need to discourage the landfilling of plastics waste and recognises that effective waste management systems are key to avoid littering and ensure that collected waste finds its way to proper treatment. "This is a step in the right direction as no plastic should end up in the environment”, noted Karl-H. Foerster, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope. “Since 2011, the European plastics industry has been calling for Zero Plastics to Landfill. Only a legally binding landfill restriction on all recyclable and other recoverable post-consumer waste will put an end to the landfilling of all waste which can be used as a resource”.
In the context of the announcement on the Plastics Strategy initiative, the association is thrilled to announce the publication of its “Plastics 2030 - Voluntary Commitment”, which contains a set of ambitious targets and initiatives representing the plastics industry contribution to achieve a fully circular and resource efficient Europe.
“Building a long-term sustainable development requires courage, innovation and concrete actions”, said Daniele Ferrari, President of PlasticsEurope and CEO of Versalis (Eni). “It is in this spirit that we designed the ‘Plastics 2030 – Voluntary Commitment’. With these ambitious pledges, the European plastics industry is effectively contributing to shape new sustainable solutions to address global challenges.”
Increasing Re-use and Recycling
This voluntary commitment focuses on increasing re-use and recycling, preventing plastics leakage into the environment, and accelerating resource efficiency.
The European plastics manufacturers are committed to ensure high rates of re-use and recycling with the ambition to reach 60% for plastics packaging by 2030. This will lead to achieve the goal of 100% re-use, recycling and/or recovery of all plastics packaging in the EU-28, Norway and Switzerland by 2040.
To this end, PlasticsEurope will strengthen its efforts and collaboration along the value chain and with public authorities to deliver increasingly sustainable plastics solutions. The association has already established three European platforms (European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM), Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP), Styrenics Circular Solutions) to accelerate innovation towards more efficient chemical and mechanical recycling.
Preventing Plastics Leakage
Another important pillar of Plastics 2030 are the activities for the prevention of plastic leakage into the environment. PlasticsEurope will continue setting up educational projects across Member States to increase awareness on sustainable consumer behaviour.
It will strengthen the industry programme to prevent pellet loss (Operation Clean Sweep) by increasingly involve the entire value chain, including transport and logistics.
Lastly, PlasticsEurope will launch new research activities to complete knowledge gaps on the most common plastic items being littered in the marine environment, with a view to identify suitable solutions.
Accelerating Resource Efficiency
PlasticsEurope will complement these efforts with other actions aimed at enhancing plastics’ resource efficiency and accelerate innovation for circularity. This will involve: Further research into alternative feedstocks; more frequent updates of product Life-Cycle Inventories and Environmental Product Declarations; the publication of extended waste data; new eco-design guidelines for plastics packaging; and standardization of industrial best practices and methodologies.
By mid-2018, PlasticsEurope will set up concrete action plans and time-based performance indicators which will be used to evaluate the achievement of these objectives. The results will be monitored by an independent committee, made of representatives of academia, the European Commission, the European Parliament, civil society and PlasticsEurope. Also, from 2019, an annual progress report will be published.
PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V.
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