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Will the Plastic Pact deliver on its promises?

The Dutch government has launched a new initiative called The Plastic Pact NL to stop the rise of plastic waste.

A key goal of the new Plastics Pact is to ensure all plastic packaging is 100% recycled, reused or composted by 2025. In the same year, Dutch businesses are expected to generate 20% less plastic waste (by weight).

Also, at least 70% of plastics recycled in the Netherlands has to meet ‘top quality’ standards. This requires expanding and improving mechanical recycling processes as well as sorting technology. As a result, recycling processes are estimated to yield a 95% single-stream recyclate.

Furthermore, all producers of single-use plastic products will need to incorporate ‘as much recycled plastic as they can’. The minimum recycled content share has been set for 35%. It is noted that around 52% of plastic packaging is currently sent for recycling in the Netherlands.

Funding progress

Besides setting targets, the Dutch government will put EUR 3 million towards helping companies become more sustainable. This special fund is specifically meant for parties following the CIRCO track – a business strategy inspired by circular economy principles.

Because plastics are being used is many different industries, government advocates will collaborate with other industry stakeholders. The automotive sector and electronics sector are hailed as important examples. Another segment to keep in mind is the construction & demolition sector.

More is possible

Jaap Wassink signs the Pact on behalf of
Coca-Cola European Partners Netherlands.

‘Joining forces is necessary to come to establish a clear understanding across the value chain,’ so says the Dutch Ministry of Infrastracture. ‘We must pool our resources so we can achieve much more than what we currently imagine to be possible.’

A string of leading retailers, producers and recyclers has already voiced their support for the Pact. Waste management firm Suez is one of the parties applauding the initiative. However, it warns that companies could see this as an opportunity for ‘greenwashing’.

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