Technological watch

Launch of multi-stakeholder alliance to boost recycling efforts in Europe / Need to match recyclate supply with demand and enhance quality

Launch of multi-stakeholder alliance to boost recycling efforts in Europe / Need to match recyclate supply with demand and enhance qualityThe European Commission launched on 11 December an alliance of key industry stakeholders covering the entire plastics value chain as part of ongoing efforts to increase the share of recycled plastics in Europe and stimulate market innovation. The ?Circular Plastics Alliance? will comprise stakeholders from key industries ? from waste collectors to recyclers and primary producers to converters, brand owners and retailers. The commission added that it will also invite stakeholders from industries that consume the most plastics in Europe, such as packaging, construction and automotive.
The alliance?s aim will be to improve the economics and quality of plastics recycling in Europe, in particular strengthening the match between supply and demand, which it said is the main obstacle to a well functioning market. According to a preliminary analysis of industry pledges, the EU commission said at least 10m t of recycled plastics could be supplied by 2025 if the pledges are fully delivered. However, only 5m t of demand is anticipated.
The commission launched a voluntary pledges campaign in January 2018 as part of its EU plastics strategy and is currently assessing the responses ? see Plasteurope.com of 24.01.2018.
First vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, wants to see more collaborations in the plastics chain (Photo: European Commission)?Close cooperation within and between all the links in the plastics value chain is essential if we are to achieve a true circular plastics economy and ensure that recycled plastics find their way to new products, instead of into landfill or the incinerators,? said Frans Timmermans, European Commission first vice president.
The commission's vice president responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen, added, ?Business understands this is an opportunity to innovate and to become global frontrunners in new technology and materials, in line with circular economy logic. The platform that we are setting up today will encourage cooperation and dialogue between market operators, both on the supply and the demand side, so that we can together build a well-functioning market for recycled plastics.?
The Circular Plastics Alliance will pursue three main objectives. The first of these comprises fostering short-term voluntary and coordinated actions and investments by key industry stakeholders. This could include separate collection of plastics waste, harmonised reporting on collection and recycling rates and volumes, investments in sorting and recycling facilities and voluntary standards on designing products for recycling.
The second goal is to report on the obstacles that may hamper stakeholders? efforts to fully deliver on their pledges. Some of these obstacles have already been identified, such as a lack of infrastructure, insufficient access to finance and gaps in standardisation.
The final objective relates to monitoring the progress made towards more plastics recycling and more update of recycled plastics. Monitoring, said the Commission, should help identify the gaps in supply and demand for different recycled plastics. At the same time, the alliance will encourage new voluntary commitments.Launch of new annual stakeholders' eventOn the same day of the alliance?s launch, 13 major European trade organisations from the plastics industry hosted the first of a new annual meeting where they presented the status of their voluntary commitments and pledges to the media, NGOs and EU commission representatives. The associations said they had organised ?The EU Plastics Industries ? Towards Circularity? event to enable open and public reporting as well as a transparent dialogue with stakeholders on the industry?s progress.
Presentations were made by the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE; www.aise.eu), European Carpet and Rug Association (ECRA; www.ecra.eu), European Disposables and Nonwovens Association (Edana; www.edana.org), European Federation of Bottled Water (EFBW; www.efbw.org), European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene (EUMEPS, www.eumeps.org), EuPC (www.plasticsconverters.eu), Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform, PET Sheet Europe (PSE, www.petsheeteurope.eu), Petcore Europe (www.petcore-europe.org), PlasticsEurope (www.plasticseurope.org), Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE; www.plasticsrecyclers.eu), Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS; www.styrenics-circular-solutions.com) and VinylPlus (www.vinylplus.eu).
At the event, David Baker was also confirmed as the next chairman of the ?Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform? (PCEP; www.pcep.eu) ? see Plasteurope.com of 17.12.2018.17.12.2018 Plasteurope.com [241364-0]

Publication date: 17/12/2018

Plasteurope

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Last update: 2019-09-18