Europe is still far from having the right recycling framework to achieve its 55% target by 2030. Currently, only 31% of plastic waste in Europe is recycled. Plastics are being produced at an alarming rate and have a severe impact on the environment as reuse is extremely limited. The consequences of intensive plastics production need to be monitored and taken into account. Europe must share best practices, form the right alliances and develop a robust recycling framework that encourages its industries to produce more responsibly.
- Oceans governance and plastics (Event report)
- Is a ‘zero waste’ lifestyle possible
- Circular Plastics Alliance
- Re-thinking the production of plastic
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Sharpening EU Leadership in Plastics Recycling
In March 2019, the European Parliament voted in favour of a motion that would phase out a number of single-use plastic items across the EU by 2021. The new law sets a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029, committing Member States to this goal. Furthermore, plastic bottles will have to contain at least 30% recycled content by 2030. The European Parliament, alongside several forward-looking Member States, is taking the first steps towards the establishment of a circular plastics economy. While the focus should remain on reducing the use of plastics, plastic waste should also be accounted for. Replacing single-use plastics with innovative alternatives presents the EU with a significant opportunity, given that 95% of the value resulting from plastics production is lost to the economy, amounting to a loss of somewhere between €70bn and €105bn per year. However, the demand for recycled plastics in Europe today stands at only 6%. Therefore, the EU must develop a more robust recycling framework that encourages its industries to produce more responsibly.
- How can the Circular Plastics Alliance help in developing the right framework to stimulate a circular plastics economy?
- How can countries and companies create incentives to collect and reuse plastics?
- How can Europe lead the way on the recycling of plastics?
André Abreu, Head for International Policy at Tara Expéditions Foundation
Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Insights at Friends of Europe
Raphael Danglade, Programme Manager for Climate and Energy at Friends of Europe
Tel.: +32 2 893 98 10
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