It is only a few days since the European Union launched a great future project: the European Plastic Pact. 15 governments and more than 60 companies from European countries have signed the pact so far – and there are more to come, because every company can participate. The big goal: The gradual establishment of a European recycling economy. This includes using only reusable plastic wherever possible by 2025. The initiators stress the voluntary character of the European Plastic Pact: This means that no one is obliged to participate. But those who do should take their voluntary commitments seriously and not just be committed to membership.
“The European Plastics Pact is a unique opportunity for governments and businesses to work together for a greener future. Plastics is a valuable material and it is time that we should treat it as such; by reducing, reusing and recycling much more than today“, says Lea Wermelin, Danish Minister for Environment. Her Dutch colleague Stientje van Veldhoven confirms: „It’s time to change the game. If we want to tackle climate change, we need to look beyond energy to materials. We have to start treating plastic as the valuable raw material it is and keep it out of our oceans. We strive to reuse all plastic in the future. From your daily chocolate bar wrapper to the shampoo bottle and everything in between.”
In detail, the European Plastic Pact is based on the following four pillars:
– Reusability and recyclability: Design all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products placed on the market to be reusable where possible and in any case recyclable by 2025
– Responsible use of plastics: Move towards a more responsible use of plastic packaging and single-use plastic products, aiming to reduce virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20% by 2025, with half of this reduction coming from an absolute reduction in plastics
– Collection, sorting and recycling: Increase the collection, sorting and recycling capacity by at least 25 percentage points by 2025 and reach a level that corresponds to market demand for recycled plastics
– Use of recycled plastics: Increase the use of recycled plastics in new products and packaging by 2025, with plastics using companies achieving an average of at least 30% recycled plastics in their product and packaging range.
Any company that would also like to make a voluntary commitment can do so on the official website