Plastics strategy

Circular economy 16-02-2022

High recycling rate of PET bottles questioned in new study

PET bottles used as packaging for soft drinks and mineral waters are often touted as the greenest type of plastic, with one of the highest recycling rates in the industry. But those claims are new being challenged by new research.

Big brands call for global pact to cut plastic production

International brands including Coca Cola and PepsiCo called on Monday (17 January) for a global pact to combat plastic pollution that includes cuts in plastic production, a key growth area for the oil industry.

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.
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?

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 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).

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.