Europe joins plastic waste elimination pact

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2020-03-09 11:03:51 – Belgium

Europe has become the first international region to join the Ellen Macarthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network which aims to prevent plastics from becoming waste or pollution.

The European Plastics Pact brings together 15 governments and 66 businesses within the European Economic Area (EEA) to work towards a common vision for a circular economy for plastics.

Although aimed at plastic packaging and single-use plastics, it opens the door to more post-consumer streams from these areas being recycled for use in other sectors, such as textiles.

The European Plastics Pact was initiated by the French Ministry of the Ecological and Solidary Transition, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food.

The decision was taken in consultation with more than 80 organisations from across Europe, and with the support of the WRAP charity which works to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency.

Together, 81 members of the European Plastics Pact have committed to a set of ambitious 2025 targets, including to:

  • Make all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products reusable where possible, and in all cases recyclable
  • Reduce the need for virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20 per cent
  • Increase the collection, sorting and recycling of plastics used in packaging and single-use products by at least 25 per cent
  • Boost the use of recycled plastics as much as possible, and by at least 30 per cent across single-use plastic products and packaging

European Plastics Pact members have also agreed to:

  • cooperate across the value chain on a European scale to develop smarter techniques and approaches
  • harmonise guidelines, standards, and national supporting frameworks
  • connect to share best practices and lessons learned across Europe

Sander Defruyt, new plastics economy lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: "The European Plastics Pact is a major step towards creating a circular economy for plastic, and the first supranational initiative to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global network of Plastics Pacts."

Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch Minister for Environment and Housing, commented: "It’s time to change the game. If we want to tackle climate change, we need to look beyond energy to materials."

Brune Poirson, French Junior Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, said: "This huge step requires changing production and consumption patterns within the next 20 years."

And Lea Wermelin, Danish Minister for Environment, added: "We need to stop incinerating plastics and curb the resulting emissions. It is my sincere hope and belief that the European plastics pact can improve our climate footprint and prevent plastics from ending up in nature."

The European Plastics Pact joins the UK, France, Chile, The Netherlands, South Africa and Portugal as part of the global Plastics Pact network, a unique platform to exchange learnings and best practices across countries and regions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic.

Source: EcoTextile News

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