Circular Plastics Alliance to reduce plastic waste in the EU

circular plastics alliance
© iStock/mrtom-uk

More than 100 public and private partners have signed up to the EU’s Circular Plastics Alliance, which aims to promote plastics recycling and responsible waste management.

The official Declaration of the Circular Plastics Alliance, which endorses the target set by the European Commission in 2018 of using at least 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics in manufacturing new products by 2025, was signed by representatives of local and national authorities; small businesses and large corporations; business associations; standards bodies; and research organisations. It details the steps which signatories should take to achieve the target and accelerate the shift towards zero plastic waste, including:

  • Amending the design of plastic products to facilitate recycling;
  • Integrating recycled plastics more fully into the design and manufacture of new products;
  • Creating an agenda for research and development of a circular plastics system;
  • Determining which areas of the plastics supply chain need greater investment to maximise circularity;
  • Identifying ‘untapped potential’ for greater recycling efforts and plastic waste collection; and
  • Developing a reliable, transparent monitoring system to oversee plastic waste flows across the EU.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development, said: “I welcome the industry’s commitments to rethink the way we produce and use plastics. By efficiently recycling plastics, we will clean up the planet and fight climate change, by substituting fossil fuels with plastic waste in the production cycle.”

The Circular Plastics Alliance remains open to new signatories and voluntary pledges from the public and private sector: its declaration is open for new signatures on the European Commission’s website; and the Commission has expressed its wish for more public authorities to participate in the alliance.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “We have the opportunity to make our industry a world leader in recycled plastics. We should fully seize it to protect the environment, to create new jobs in this sector and remain competitive.”

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