Pledges for recycled plastic uptake fall short of EU goal

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21.11.2018 − 

European businesses and trade associations have pledged to the EU Commission to make 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic available by 2025. "On the demand side, however, only about 5 million tonnes are expected so far. More must therefore be done to achieve the goal of a well-functioning EU market for recycled plastics," the EU authority announced on Tuesday.

The Commission has received voluntary commitments from 65 associations and individual companies as of 30 September. It said it would now examine them in detail in order to analyse their impact on supply and demand for each plastic type. The majority of the commitments were received from plastics recyclers, industry associations in the expanded polystyrene (EPS) sector and brand owners in the PET packaging sector. "We are well aware that more companies are preparing their commitments – which we strongly encourage," the Commission commented.

Achieving the use of 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics in new products on the EU market by 2025 through voluntary commitments is a key element of the EU plastics strategy presented by the Commission in January 2018. Following the publication of the strategy, the European Federation of Waste Management Industries (FEAD) expressed doubts as to whether voluntary measures alone would be "sufficient to create a solid European market of secondary raw materials”. The organisation renewed its call to lay down a minimum recycled content of 35 per cent for non-reusable plastic beverage bottles in the proposed Directive on single-use plastic products.

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