Europe’s recycling sector has strongly welcomed a call from plastic manufacturers in the EU for a mandatory 30% target for recycled content in plastics packaging by 2030.
The European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) says it looks forward to working with the entire packaging value chain to support ‘an ambitious revision’ of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
The manufacturers’ association PlasticsEurope backed the target on 9 September in response to the European Commission’s intention to mandate minimum levels of recycled plastics in new packaging.
Virginia Janssens, managing director of PlasticsEurope, said a harmonised EU policy framework was required to ensure investment in collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure and technologies, including chemical recycling. ‘Systemic change requires concerted collaboration,’ she added. ‘It is only by working together with the EU institutions and the value chain that we can deliver on this target. With the right enabling conditions in place this will be a very different industry 10 years from now.’
EuRIC believes mandatory and quantitative recycled content targets for packaging production will steer the demand for high-quality recycled materials and invest throughout the packaging value chain – from design to end-of-life collection and recycling.
Paul Mayhew, president of EuRIC’s plastics recycling branch called the backing from PlasticsEurope ‘a major step forward towards more circularity in the field of packaging and a recognition that binding recycled content targets in EU legislation are a powerful market signal to scale up circular value chains’.
He argues it has proved to be an extremely efficient tool for beverage bottles in pulling the demand for food-grade rPET and de-linking prices from the fluctuating oil market. ‘Extending such an obligation to plastic packaging at large will give the long-term certainty the packaging value chain needs to scale-up and be in a position to supply high-quality recycled polymers,’ he maintains.
Emmanuel Katrakis, secretary general of EuRIC, added: ‘On top of push-and-pull measures, a comprehensive policy framework that gives an edge to circular value chains in the EU and globally is absolutely essential’.
EuRIC serves as an umbrella organisation for more than 5 500 companies generating an aggregated annual turnover of about EUR 95 billion.
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