Today, three plastics industry organisations have launched a new Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP) through which the industry calls on all actors to join them in driving towards this goal and play their part.
The plastics industry recognises that a business as usual approach will not enable the proposed challenging target for 55% plastic packaging “preparing for re-use and recycling” target by 2025, as outlined in the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package. In the drive to create a more circular economy, fresh approaches and new thinking are required. Hence, this newly formed platform will be working for a 5-10 year horizon based on effective, science-based solutions.
The platform will create a multi-stakeholder group that will seek to identify the barriers and opportunities to increase Europe’s recycling and work towards ensuring the supply of high quality recycled plastics for the European market. Correspondingly, this will drive economic growth and the creation of new jobs as Europe moves towards a more circular economy.
Innovation is at the heart of this initiative and will require both public and private support to be successful. The following priority areas of work have been identified:
- Development of packaging design guidelines and assessment protocols according to the principles of the Circular Economy.
- Innovation to increase the recyclability of flexible and rigid packaging.
- EU wide quality standards for sorted plastics, harmonisation of tests methods for recycled plastic materials and certification of plastic recycling operations.
- Innovation & development of end-use markets to encourage demand for recycled plastics.
- Stimulating innovation to improve mechanical recycling, conversion technologies and reuse.
- Drive the research and development of new technologies to convert non-mechanically recyclable plastics into feedstock for the production of new materials.
The European plastics industry is an integral part of the manufacturing in Europe, with over 62,000 companies providing more than 1.4 million jobs and annually contributing 26 billion euros to public finances.