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Double or nothing for European plastic pipes sector

Europe – The European plastic pipe industry has committed to a new recycling target that goes ‘€˜above and beyond’€™, claims the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA). Its members have pledged to more than double their annual recycling target to 250 000 tonnes by 2020 instead of the 120 000 tonnes set by the voluntary VinylPlus initiative.

TEPPFA has identified that, under the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACh) legislation and Waste Framework Directive (WFD), there are additives found in some end-of-life plastics suitable for recycling that will be classed as hazardous or harmful, sealing their landfill fate.

The association insists recent research shows that these so-called legacy substances pose no health, safety or environmental risk when recycled if managed ‘under specified conditions’. TEPPFA’s general manager Tony Calton comments: ‘The problem posed under REACh and WFD is that, without amendments being made, more plastic waste will be incinerated and sent to landfill when it can safely be recycled without risk to human health or the environment.’

His association has begun lobbying at EU level for a special status to be granted to recyclable materials containing additives which may fall under the REACh and WFD legislation, allowing them to be recycled rather than consigned to a ‘less sustainable form of disposal’.

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