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83recyclinginternational.com | May/June | 2022
TRENDS & UPDATES
‘CRITICAL WINDOW’ WARNING FOR EUROPEAN PLASTICS INDUSTRY
The manufacture and recovery of
plastics in Europe need significant
changes to meet long-term circulari-
ty and net zero emission targets,
according to a new report. The
authors say the next three to five
years are ‘a critical window for
‘Long technology maturity cycles and
capex lock-in for large infrastructure
investments mean that the decisions
taken in the early 2020s will deter-
mine whether the European plastics
system will achieve a circular econo-
my and net zero GHG emissions by
2050,’ they warn.
Reshaping Plastics – Pathways to a
Circular, Climate Neutral Plastics
System in Europe, a 12-month project produced by the systems-change company Systemiq, finds that current industry and
policy actions could more than double circularity from 14% to 30% by 2030 but that would still leave a highly resource
inefficient system unable to meet international climate change goals. The report focuses on four of the most important
plastic-using sectors: packaging, household goods, automotive, and construction which account for 75% of total European
plastic demand and 83% of known post-consumer waste generation.
It concludes there is no ‘silver bullet’ to significantly reduce waste disposal and emissions.
‘To date, many stakeholders have focused on either “upstream” (pre-consumer, such as material redesign, plastic reduc-
tion, and substitution) or “downstream” (post-consumer, such as mechanical and chemical recycling) solutions. Our analy-
sis shows that this is a false dichotomy. Ambitious adoption of circular economy approaches in the plastics value chain,
applying upstream and downstream solutions together, can drive significant reductions in GHG emissions and waste dis-
posal in the next decade and beyond.’
Even so, the report argues these actions will not be enough to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and multiple less
mature, innovative technologies and approaches will be needed.
BACK TO MAC PUTS A GREEN TWIST
Cosmetics brand MAC has expanded its Back to MAC take-back
programme to cover four more European countries: Germany,
Greece, Norway and the Czech Republic.
The scheme is intended to boost the company’s sustainability cre-
dentials by recycling as much of its signature black plastic packag-
ing as possible. Together with recycling partners, MAC is looking to
transform its ABS packaging into feedstock plastic for coffee
machines, televisions, office supplies and electronic devices.
Consumers who return six empty makeup containers to a participat-
ing store (or send them to company headquarters) can choose a
free lipstick as a reward.
‘We care about the planet and are doing our part to help improve
our environmental impact,’ says Philippe Pinatel, global brand pres-
ident. ‘That’s why we created the Back-To-MAC initiative years ago
in Canada, where the brand was born, to help reduce the environ-
mental impact of our packs.’
‘And that’s just one piece of the puzzle,’ he adds. ‘We are continu-
ing to design with the environment in mind, making smarter, more
es without com-
I’m so excited
for what’s in
store and invite
join us in our
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NEW LEADERSHIP AT EURIC
Olivier François was elected president of the European Recycling Industries’
Confederation (EuRIC) during its latest gathering.
He will be supported by vice-presidents Thomas Braun (md of bvse), Alicia Garcia-Franco
(director general of FER) and Cinzia Vezzosi, outgoing president and executive of
For the metal recycling banches, Susie Burrage (president of the UK’s BMRA) was re-
elected president of the non-ferrous metal trade and recycling branch while Thomas
Papageorgiou (Anamet Recycling) was re-elected president of the ferrous recovery &
recycling branch alongside Hans van de NES (FNOI) as president of the recovered paper
branch. The mechanical tyre recycling section will be led by Poul Steen Rasmussen
(Genan), while Mariska Boer (VHT) was re-elected president of textiles. Sophie Sicard
(Federec) becomes president of the plastics recycling branch.
Vezzosi praised members for their contribution to the development of EuRIC and welcomed the parity in the top leadership positions
across the entire board. ‘This is a sign that women in recycling is not only a motto but a reality EuRIC promotes at top level,’ she said.
François thanked Vezzosi for her leadership during which, despite the Covid-related crisis, EuRIC has steadily grown. ‘I look forward to
lead the representation of the recycling industry at a time where our sector is under the spotlight of policy-makers,’ he said. ‘I am cer-
tain that the pragmatism, expertise and leadership embodied by the EuRIC board will play a key role in shaping a circular-proof legisla-
tion, pulling the demand for raw materials from recycling, speeding up the development of EU-wide end-of-waste criteria and opening
new markets for circular materials.’
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