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Cry for help to save battered plastics recyclers

EuRIC, the umbrella organisation for the European recycling industries, is calling for action at EU level to support the plastics recycling in the current crisis. The sector has been severely hit by the pandemic while low oil prices have resulted in a sharp decline in virgin plastic prices and therefore reduced demand for recycled plastics.

‘The cost structure and the carbon footprint of virgin and recycled polymers is completely different yet they compete on price,’ stresses Paul Mayhew, president of EuRIC’s plastics recycling section.

The organisation is warning that the impact will be far-reaching should the current situation continue. This would put at risk targets in both the EU Green Deal and the New Circular Economy Action Plan that require greater – not less – recycling capacity in Europe. ‘Obviously, this would result in the loss of jobs in many EU member states.’

EuRIC wants urgent measures to support plastics recycling in Europe:

  • Member States’ support for the plastics recycling industry, particularly mechanisms to stimulate the demand for recycled materials
  • Pragmatic mandatory recycled content targets for plastics commonly used in products to stimulate the demand for recycled materials and secure investments to boost capacity and create jobs in Europe

Market or tax-based incentives, proportional to the well-documented CO2 and energy savings from plastics recycling, to close the price gap betwe

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