April 24, 2018

FEAD welcomes the EP draft own-initiative report on the Plastics Strategy

FEAD members welcome the publication of the draft own-initiative report on a European strategy for plastics in a circular economy by rapporteur MEP Mark Demesmaeker as a step forward for designing a new vision for plastics as part of the transition to a circular economy. In view of the foreseen consideration of the draft report this week in the ENVI committee, FEAD would like to draw the attention of the MEPs to crucial points for the private waste and resource management industry.

Turning the vision of a new plastics economy into reality will require joined efforts across the entire plastics value chain. Plastic products need to be designed for recycling, this will not only improve the economics but also the quality of plastics recycling. Large investments will be needed to innovate and expand the separate collection, sorting and recycling capacity at EU level (4 times more compared with 2015, as estimated by the European Commission). Our industry is prepared to make the necessary investments if there are legislative measures ensuring a significant uptake of plastic recyclates. This has become even more urgent since the ban on imports of certain waste streams and standards restrictions by China.
A strong demand for recycled plastics will only result from concrete binding actions, accompanied by economic measures to bridge the price gap detrimental to plastics from recyclates.

As highlighted by the draft report, voluntary industry agreements to contribute to a better uptake of recycled plastics are welcome but will not be sufficient to create a solid European market of secondary raw materials. In that regard, our industry strongly supports mandatory rules for recycled content for specific products as a necessary step to go in that direction.
Developing quality standards, should come in parallel to binding measures regarding the compulsory uptake of recycled materials. Moreover, binding recycled content would thereby cover eventual additional costs of processing leading to better quality.

The accelerated work on the interface aspects between chemicals, waste and product policies will contribute to creating confidence in recycled plastics by manufacturers who need quality and supply certainty. Additionally, design for recycling and better information on the presence of substances of concern will optimise the work of waste operators and ensure safe recycling.

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