October 7, 2020

Did you know what’s the issue with chemical recycling?

Chemical recycling has been receiving increasing attention as an alternative route for treating waste. But did you know that the notion of chemical recycling is so vague and indeterminate that requires us to be cautious about it?

Here are the reasons:

  • The environmental damage from chemical recycling overshadows any benefits to tackling plastic waste.
  • The current definition of recycling contained in the Waste Framework Directive appropriately addresses chemical recycling and there is no need to change it.
  • There is no independent study assessing the CO2 footprint of chemical recycling nor any cost-benefit analysis of chemical recycling compared to mechanical recycling.
  • In order to create a level playing field between chemical and mechanical recycling, the former’s installations have to be classified as waste treatment plants and consequently comply with the relevant legislation on waste.

FEAD remains skeptical towards the concept and underlines the importance of monitoring closely the relevant developments. Read more on FEAD’s press release on chemical recycling dated 6.12.2019