Plastics strategy

Chemical recycling of plastic: Waste no more?

Plastics recycling is as much of a challenge as an opportunity for the circular economy. Michael Laermann looks at chemical recycling and whether it can make the plastics value chain more circular whilst providing a profitable new industry branch.
Circular economy 30-01-2019

Circular economy must remain a priority for Europe beyond the 2019 elections

The Circular Economy Package and Plastics Strategy have set a high-level framework to improve the resource efficiency of the European economy. But to be effective, this framework must remain a policy priority for the next European Commission and Parliament, writes Nick Molho.

Crunch time for crisp makers as EU waste targets loom

The European Commission has set an EU-wide objective for all packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2030. But crisp packets are a particular headache for policymakers and the recycling industry because they are so tiny and lightweight.

New Caledonia bans disposable plastics

On 27 December, the Congress of New Caledonia voted to do away with most single-use plastic objects by 2020. EURACTIV France’s media partner the Journal de l’environnement reports.

EU nails rapid-fire deal on single-use plastics

Negotiators of the European Parliament, Council and Commission struck a provisional agreement early Wednesday morning (19 December) on banning single-use plastic products like cutlery and food containers, in what is one of the most quickly finalised proposals in recent EU memory.

Food packaging and the environment: Towards the end of single-use packaging?

Plastic plays a significant role in food packaging as: it serves to meet product safety and quality requirements. However, some types of packaging remain difficult to recycle for a number of technological and practical reasons and are prone to littering.
Circular economy 22-11-2018

What’s the point of recycling?

It is easy to rank EU member states by how proficient they are at recycling but the details behind the statistics are more complex. Scratch beneath the surface and there is a quasi-philosophical issue lying in wait.
Circular economy 20-11-2018

Injecting responsibility into recycling

Collecting and recycling waste is more important than ever, since EU targets ask more and more from member states. But national capitals face a dilemma about how best to recycle more, as two distinct schemes offer two very different solutions.
Circular economy 19-11-2018

Europe’s packaging headache

European Union members will have to recycle at least 70% of packaging by 2030, under new rules brokered earlier this year. But there are complex mechanisms behind the recycling curtain and not all countries are ready yet to keep up with the pace.
Circular economy 19-11-2018

The nitty-gritty of recycling

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The EU now has a whole raft of rules, both finalised and pending, geared towards increasing the effectiveness and, perhaps more importantly, profitability of recycling. But beyond the headline targets, how are countries going to stick to the rules?

MEPs crank up crusade against single-use plastics

MEPs moved on Wednesday (24 October) to ban widely-used, throw-away plastics such as straws, bags and cotton buds, putting the burden on manufacturers to recycle more in an effort to clear up ocean pollution.
Circular economy 22-10-2018

Drinks giants rail against EU bottle cap plan

Multinationals Coca Cola, Danone, Nestlé and PepsiCo want to improve existing recycling systems rather than invest in new bottle designs with attached caps, which is the EU’s preferred way of curbing plastic waste.

Banned plastics: European Parliament’s list grows longer

MEPs in the environment committee are extending the ban on single-use plastics. They are also targeting takeaway packaging, bottles and cigarette butts. EURACTIV France’s media partner, the Journal de l’environnement reports.
Circular economy 11-10-2018

EU emphasises ‘ecological limitations’ of new bioeconomy plan

The European Commission unveiled a new bioeconomy strategy on Thursday (11 October), saying it could reduce the EU's dependence on fossil fuels while underlining the ecological limitations of Europe’s farming and forestry sector.
Circular economy 10-10-2018

Time to shift responsibility on plastics

Plastic pollution is increasingly in the spotlight but Europe could learn a thing or two from one of the cities leading the charge to curb unnecessary waste, writes the governing mayor of Oslo.
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Circular economy 26-09-2018

Bottles becoming bottles: Let’s go full circle!

The time has come for the European Parliament’s last opportunity to take concrete action before handing over the reins to the EU’s successors: making it mandatory to produce plastic bottles with at least 25% of recycled plastics by 2025.

Time to banish wet wipes from our sewers

Plastics in our sewer system costs consumers money and the European water sector has its daily challenges, one of them being sewers getting clogged regularly by plastics and wet wipes, explain Oliver Loebel and Maxime Bineau.

Coca-Cola, Walmart sign pledge to cut plastic pollution in oceans

Coca-Cola, Walmart and other big multinationals pledged on Thursday (20 September) to help reduce plastic pollution in the world's oceans in support of a campaign by five of the G7 industrialised nations.

‘Impossible’ recycling in the real world

In the Netherlands, one recycling plant is doing what many in the industry have labelled “impossible”, by recycling household packaging and making a financial success of it. EURACTIV went north of the Belgian-Dutch border to see the operation in action.

MEPs vote to turn ‘plastic wastelands into fields of gold’

European lawmakers overwhelmingly backed an advisory report on the EU’s landmark plastics strategy on Thursday (13 September). It calls on the European Commission to ban certain types of micro-plastics by 2020.
Climate change 12-09-2018

‘Scientifically right’: Juncker backs deeper carbon cuts in SOTEU speech

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged the European Union on Wednesday (12 September) to raise its goals for limiting climate change, but did not mention the forthcoming 2050 strategy. EURACTIV’s partner Climate Home News reports.
Circular economy 04-09-2018

Can we tax our way out of the plastic pollution crisis?

No environmental tax has ever been approved at EU level, given the need for unanimity in the Council. But if a plastic tax were successfully passed, would such a measure really help to set the EU on the path to curbing plastic pollution?

Is recycled plastic safe for food packaging? EU seems to think so

The European Commission is preparing to fast-track approval of 140 recycling processes for use in food and drinks packaging, despite warnings that second-hand plastics risk containing toxic chemicals that are dangerous for human health.

France to set penalties on non-recycled plastic

France plans to introduce a penalty system next year that would increase the costs of consumer goods with packaging made of non-recycled plastic.

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