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EuPC calls for plastic waste export controls

Archiv – Leading European plastics packaging manufacturers have voiced their concerns about the growing export of plastics waste for recycling outside of Europe.Leading European plastics packaging manufacturers have voiced their concerns about the growing export of plastics waste for recycling outside of Europe. Alexandre Dangis, Managing Director of the Belgium-based European plastics converters organisation EuPC, commented following the official publication of the revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive: ’EU member states should enforce stricter rules to stop plastics waste going to Asia and being landfilled. With the recent revision of the Packaging Waste Directive and the upcoming EU enlargement in May the problem will only worsen, causing further difficulties for both plastics recyclers and plastics packaging manufacturers. It is feared that many recycling companies will become unviable simply because they cannot get sufficient access to EU-generated waste.’
According to Mr Dangis, EU institutions have increased plastics packaging recycling targets from 15% to 22.5% in the amended EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive but there was no requirement to verify that plastics recycling conditions in Asia were comparable to those in Europe. He adds: ‘€˜In many European ports, ships destined for Asia laden with plastics waste are not properly controlled and EU enlargement will only increase the export of collected and sorted waste in the future. If Europe’€™s politicians want to develop a sustainable plastics recycling industry, then the Packaging Waste Directive should be implemented in member states in the spirit of treating Europe’€™s waste in Europe and not in Asia.’€™
According to EuPC, EU member states and the European Commission should together develop export guidelines to ensure that a closer parity of conditions and standards exists in the plastics recycling industries both inside and outside the EU. Only then will plastics recyclers in Europe have the confidence to install the recycling capacity needed to achieve the higher recycling targets laid down in the directive, it is argued. Ultimately, the directive will be implemented in all 25 member states of the enlarged EU.

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