EU Circular Economy Action Plan reintensifies drive for eco-friendly packaging

The European Commission has adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan in which it prioritizes reducing overpackaging and packaging waste, driving design for reusable and recyclable packaging and reducing the complexity of packaging materials. The Plan, which the Commission identifies as one of the major building blocks of the European Green Deal, also considers mandatory plastic requirements for recycled content and waste reduction measures for key products such as packaging, addresses intentionally added microplastics, develops labeling and regulatory measures on unintentionally released microplastics and establishes a policy framework on the use of bio-based plastics.

The EU Strategy for Plastics in the Circular Economy set in motion a comprehensive set of initiatives responding to a challenge of serious public concern. However, as consumption of plastics is expected to double in the coming 20 years, the Commission has stated that it will take further targeted measures to address the sustainability challenges posed by this ubiquitous material and continue to promote a “concerted approach” to tackle plastics pollution at the global level.

“Prevention, reduction and reuse, despite being at the top of the EU waste hierarchy, have been overlooked for too long. We now welcome that they are rightly given priority for food services, but they must be at the core of all future concrete measures to foster the redesign of plastics and packaging, as well as their production and distribution systems. This is not only a condition for achieving a true, toxic-free circular economy, it is also necessary to deliver on the EU’s climate agenda,” comments Justine Maillot, Policy Coordinator of the Rethink Plastic Alliance.

The Rethink Plastic Alliance concludes by warning that if investments are directed towards infrastructure for “new” plastic production as well as chemical recycling, “this will simply extend business as usual into the future”.

Post time: May-06-2020