Plastics strategy

On packaging recycling, EU aims to close the loop

Not all recycling is equal. As the European Commission prepares to revise the EU's packaging waste directive, policymakers want to remove degradation and waste from the process.
Circular economy 06-09-2021

Social cost of plastic pollution more than GDP of India

The pollution, emissions and clean-up costs of plastic produced in 2019 alone could be $3.7 trillion, according to a report released Monday (6 September) by wildlife charity WWF, warning of the environmental and economic burden of this "seemingly cheap" material.

Countries eye UN deal to rein in plastic pollution

The European Union on Thursday (2 September) backed calls for a legally binding international agreement to reduce plastic pollution, during a UN-hosted conference in Geneva.
Circular economy 06-07-2021

EU plastic rules worry manufacturers, environmentalists demand more

New measures to reduce plastic waste in the European Union have drawn fire from environmental campaigners who say they do not go far enough, while manufacturers worry the rules could lead to different standards being adopted across the bloc.

Call for global treaty to end production of ‘virgin’ plastic by 2040

A binding global treaty is needed to phase out the production of “virgin” or new plastic by 2040, scientists have said. EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian, reports.
Agrifood 08-06-2021

Portuguese minister: We have one ocean, we need to look after it globally

International cooperation to tackle global challenges facing marine resources is strongly needed as problems such as ocean warming cannot be solved by a bunch of countries only, Portugal's minister of the Sea Ricardo Serrão Santos said in an exclusive interview.
Circular materials 04-06-2021

French company proves recycling PET plastics can be profitable

French company Veolia is demonstrating that companies can introduce recycled petroleum-based plastics (PET) plastics into their production chain and still be successful. EURACTIV France reports.
Circular materials 20-04-2021

EU seeks ‘reliable’ method to measure microplastic pollution from tyres

An EU regulation on tyre labelling due to come into force on 1 May will not cover the rate at which tyres shed particles – a major contributor to microplastics in Europe – as an agreed method for the calculation of abrasion is still not in place.
Circular materials 20-04-2021

Stop exporting plastic waste out of Europe, EU lawmakers say

Thirty-one lawmakers in the European Parliament have signed a manifesto calling for the end of plastic waste exports outside Europe and the facilitation of intra-EU shipment procedures to promote a genuine circular economy within the EU.

Protecting our health also means switching to toxic-free food packaging

As the world looks to rebuild after COVID, we need to change our approach to the environment, particularly the chemicals and single-use plastics involved in food packaging, writes Frédérique Ries.
Circular materials 02-04-2021

Tyre industry and environmentalists lock horns over potential rubber infill ban

Green campaigners have warned that failure by the EU to designate rubber infill derived from tyres as a banned microplastic will lead to significant environmental harm – a claim the tyre and recycling industries strongly reject.
Circular economy 25-02-2021

Soft drinks industry aims for 100% recycled or renewable plastic by 2030

European soft drink makers unveiled their new vision for 2030 on Monday (22 February), announcing plans to reach 100% recycled or renewable materials in plastic bottles by the end of the decade.
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.
Special ReportOpinionPromoted content

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...