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.
A Japanese village aims to be the first zero waste municipality in the world by 2020 and has already reached an 81% recycling rate. A member of the Japanese Zero Waste Academy told EURACTIV that the feat is replicable elsewhere.
The European Commission has started gathering views from EU member states, the packaging industry and online retailers ahead of a comprehensive review of EU rules on packaging waste, part of efforts to boost reuse and recycling rates by 2030.
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.
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.
Fourteen EU member states have to step up efforts to reach the target of recycling 50% of municipal waste in 2020 - an objective set by the framework directive in 2008. EURACTIV France’s media partner, the Journal de l’environnement, reports.
In light of the challenges that countries are facing due to China’s new standards on plastic recyclables imports, some controversial disposal methods have been getting increased attention, despite the myriad of concerns surrounding them, write Claire Arkin and Janek Vahk.
The European Union must become a global leader in promoting circular economy but needs to make the best of the ambitious new EU legislation, said participants at a stakeholders’ debate on recycling, pointing to the positive example of Poland.
As the EU doubles down on its waste management efforts and sets its sights on tackling plastic waste, the idea of a circular economy and internal market for recycling is gathering momentum. But it will not be an easy task for lawmakers or industry to realise.
The European Commission is aiming to reveal its plan to curb single-use plastics in May, in what will be the first proposal to come out of its much-vaunted Plastics Strategy. But industry and civil society are still divided over what should be its fundamental goal.
The Amorce association, an association of local authorities and businesses in the fields of waste, energy and heating networks, revealed the tax measures which will be included in the French national roadmap on circular economy (FREC).
To date, the Renewable Energy Directive has been a key obstacle to achieving waste policy objectives. If the EU is serious about the transition towards a circular economy, it is crucial that incentive schemes for renewables encourage separate collection and recycling, writes Janek Vahk.
The EU’s Circular Economy Package is delivering some important progress on supporting business resource efficiency. But the circular economy will need to remain top of the agenda for many years to come if the EU is to see a step change in resource productivity, argues Nick Molho.
Lithuania plans to build more waste incineration plants, which the government says could lead to reducing energy bills – but politicians and NGOs worry that it would jeopardise recycling targets as not enough waste is being produced.
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? With EU production of plastic waste showing no sign of slowing down and China – the world’s biggest importer of plastic waste – set to ban imports, we’re about to find out, argues Meadhbh Bolger.