With the European Commission due to present its Sustainable Products Action Plan on 30 March, Emmanuel Katrakis takes stock of the EU's push for a more circular economy in an interview with EURACTIV France.
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.
Lightweight soft packaging such as crisp packets or wrapping for chocolate bars are giving headaches to European recyclers who currently have little incentive to buy the collected material. The European Commission will seek to address this in July with its planned revision of the EU’s packaging and packaging waste directive.
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.
Beverage carton producers have pledged to make cartons from 100% renewable and recycled material and cut down on their plastic consumption by 2030 to increase their sustainability and help meet global climate goals.
Glass packaging already has one of the highest recycling rates in Europe, but better collection of a greater amount of glass is needed to meet Europe’s goal of a 75% recycling rate and, eventually, reach complete circularity.
Europe aims to cut down on waste as quickly as possible in order to halt the overconsumption that is damaging the planet and adding to climate change. But despite previous attempts, waste packaging is still on the rise in Europe.