Plastics strategy

Circular economy 18-12-2020

Product design policy will be key to circular economy, EU says

As the European Union seeks to transition to a ‘circular economy’, the policy focus in 2021 will turn to products: how they are designed, and why so many seem to be made to throw away.
Plastic ready to be recycled in the yard of a company specialising in ecological treatments. [Moreno Soppelsa/Shutterstock].
Circular economy 11-12-2020

Plastic waste: what’s new is old

Companies doing business in Europe may soon have to ensure their packaging contains a minimum amount of recycled plastic. But getting their hands on quality recycled materials in sufficient quantity is currently difficult.
Circular economy 10-12-2020

Blue, yellow or white? Recycling varies widely in the EU

Deposit return and extended producer responsibility schemes are everywhere in the EU but have very different rules. Does this present a barrier to meeting the EU’s recycling objectives?
Circular economy 09-12-2020

Jan Huitema MEP: EU must tackle price gap between secondary and virgin plastics

Jan Huitema, who is in charge of guiding the circular economy strategy through the European Parliament, says his report will include requirements for products to contain a minimum amount of recycled material.
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88,000 Eiffel Towers nowhere near enough…

The world has managed to recycle enough plastic since the 1950s to equal the weight of 88,000 Eiffel Towers. Pretty impressive. The bad news is this is less than one-tenth[1] of the 8.3 billion tonnes[2] of plastic produced over the...

Plastic waste: how to square the circle

The EU’s circular economy plan aims to halve municipal waste in the next decade by increasing recycling rates. Can companies boost the use of recycled plastics in time to meet the target?
Circular economy 01-12-2020

Recycler: Simpler EU laws would help recycle e-waste plastics

Around half of e-waste plastics are not recycled in Europe but rather shipped abroad where they often end up being dumped or burnt. Simpler laws on recycling in Europe would help keep those materials at home and recycle them, argues Chris Slijkhuis.
Circular economy 27-11-2020

Environment must be considered in moves to end period poverty

Scotland passed a law to make menstrual products free and end period poverty on Tuesday (24 November), but more needs to be done to discuss the environmental and health impacts of disposable products, according to environmental campaigners.

Half of plastics in electronic waste not recycled in EU

Around half of plastic waste from electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) is not properly collected or sorted in the EU, according to a new report by SOFIES, an international sustainability project management and consulting firm.

EU defines sustainable plastic manufacturing in draft green finance rules

The manufacturing of plastics can be considered a "sustainable" economic activity in Europe provided that they are “fully manufactured by mechanical recycling of plastic waste” or by chemical recycling  processes if minimum emission standards are met, according to a leaked EU proposal seen by EURACTIV.
Air Quality 06-11-2020

Air pollution fell, plastic use soared during Europe lockdowns

Coronavirus lockdowns in Europe have led to some environmental improvements such as better air quality and lower carbon emissions, but they are temporary and coupled with a surge in single-use plastic, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said Thursday (5 November).

Chemical Recycling: Can it solve the plastic crisis?

The world is drowning in plastic. About 60% of the more than 8,700 million metric tonnes of plastic ever made is no longer in use, instead sat mostly in landfill or released to the environment. That equals over 400kg of...

Fixing plastic collection seen as vital to success of chemical recycling

Two billion people worldwide do not have access to proper waste collection services, leading to ever-growing plastic pollution in oceans and waterways, particularly in the global south.

Pressure mounts on EU member states to meet plastic recycling goals

Pressure is increasing on member states to recycle 77% of plastic bottles by 2025 and reduce waste.

Germany to ban plastic straws by mid-2021

German lawmakers approved legislation Thursday (17 September) banning disposable plastic products such as straws, cutlery and cotton buds that are polluting the world's oceans.
Energy 04-09-2020

Oil industry placing risky bet on plastics, report says

Big oil producers are pinning their future growth on the world's insatiable appetite for plastic, researchers said Friday (4 September), in a "bet" on society's failure to tackle disposable consumption that risks stranding billions of dollars in petrochemical investments.

EU microplastics ban needs to aim smaller, advisers say

A draft EU ban on microplastics would allow industry to use even smaller particles in cosmetics, detergents and paints, which could be more damaging than the tiny pieces of plastic already clogging up the natural world, campaigners and some EU advisers say.

Chemical recycling ‘promising’ for circular economy, EU official says

While chemical recycling opens new possibilities for the circular economy, only a full lifecycle approach will be able to determine the real environmental benefits in terms of saved energy and global warming emissions, a senior EU official has said.
Circular economy 19-08-2020

Economic meltdown threatens Europe’s war on plastic

Giving a new life to plastic trash gets Carlos Bento out of bed every morning. But the coronavirus pandemic has seen revenues drop up to 40% at Micronipol, the large recycling facility he runs in central Portugal, and it faces an uncertain future.
Coronavirus 22-06-2020

Sinkevicius: COVID-19 cannot be an excuse to curb EU’s green ambition

Member states cannot use the COVID-crisis as an excuse to weaken the EU's environmentral and health protection efforts, European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius told EURACTIV Italy in an exclusive interview.
Circular economy 15-04-2020

EU dismisses industry calls to lift ban on single-use plastics

Deadlines have to be respected, says the European Commission in response to calls by industry to lift an EU-wide ban on some single-use plastic items because of health and hygiene concerns raised during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Circular economy 10-02-2020

Europe must resist attempts to weaken single-use plastics laws

The EU's recently agreed laws to tackle the most polluting single-use plastics are in danger of being watered down by industry players, writes Delphine Lévi Alvarès.
Circular economy 31-01-2020

LEAK: EU’s new circular economy plan aims to halve waste by 2030

The European Commission will aim to “absolutely decouple” economic growth from natural resource use in a draft circular economy action plan due to be unveiled in March.
Health 24-01-2020

Germans push back against green alternatives to artificial football pitches

The EU is considering new curbs on microplastics, a decision which could also affect the synthetic turfs of countless football pitches in Germany. Yet, replacing all surfaces by real grass, although more environmentally-friendly, is hardly feasible. EURACTIV Germany reports.
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