Reaching EU plastics target "practically impossible"
under current conditions

Photo: DSD
11.01.2019 − 

Raising the amount of recycled plastics that is incorporated into new products as envisioned by the EU Plastics Strategy is “practically impossible” under the current conditions. This is the view of the majority of plastics converters who participated in a survey conducted last year on behalf of the umbrella organisation European Plastics Converters (EuPC).

Respondents stated for only two out of the ten plastic types covered by the survey that sufficient quantities of recycled material are available to reach the EU strategy’s overall target of 10 million tonnes used in manufacturing new products by 2025. When quality is taken into account, the picture worsens even more, with the majority of participants (71 per cent) reporting sufficient recyclate quality for only plastic type, namely PET.

Improving plastics waste collection and sorting is considered the most suitable way to raise the quality of recycled plastic material by a large share of the respondents (76 per cent). Other measures include investments into recycling technology by recyclers (53 per cent) and implementing design for recycling (29 per cent). 80 per cent of the plastics converters participating in the survey are already taking measures themselves to improve recyclate quality, EuPC reports.

The survey was carried out by Polymer Comply Europe SCRL (PCE), with 376 companies from 21 countries participating. EuPC describes it as part of its ongoing work to address the technical issues related to the recycling of polymers and the use of recycled plastics material by converting companies.

EuPC plans to hold another survey in 2019. In addition, the trade group is currently working on a project to develop a unified online tool to monitor the use of rPM in the European plastics converting industry.

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