EU commissioner urges green future for plastics

David Eldridge

Published: September 25, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Public Policy

WEISBADEN, GERMANY (Sept. 25, 12:45 p.m. ET) — Plastics have some important environmental advantages but the plastics industry can do more to reduce their overall impact, according to Janez Poto├äŹnik, European Commissioner for the Environment.

“I believe in the future of the European plastics industry. But the time has come to be more critical of our use of plastics,” Poto├äŹnik said on Sept. 21 at the PolyTalk event organized by PlasticsEurope in Wiesbaden.

The commissioner expressed his views to a gathering of business leaders from the European plastics industry, representatives of the green lobby and officials from European organizations.

“We need green economics and we need green economics in the plastics industry,” he said.

Poto├äŹnik acknowledged the benefits of plastics, such as their lightweighting advantage in areas such as automotive and packaging.

However, the moves towards innovation and sustainability have set the challenge of how to make the most of plastics’ benefits without increasing environmental impacts.

“Future competitiveness will depend on doing more with less,” he said.

One challenge is to improve plastics recycling in the European Union. While some countries have high recycling rates, others are sending too much plastic to landfill.

Poto├äŹnik suggested incineration of waste plastics for energy recovery could constrain the supply of raw material for plastics recycling.

“Too often plastics is downcycled, not recycled,” he said.

Poto├äŹnik also urged the plastics industry to help develop products which are designed for sustainability, products that can be repaired, updated and dismantled easily.

Major environmental issues for the plastics industry include marine litter and the proliferation of carrier bags. The European Commission is currently assessing options to reduce the use of plastic carrier bags.

Poto├äŹnik seemed to rule out the possibility of a ban on plastic carrier bags, telling the PolyTalk audience that “pricing measures plus targets are the most likely option.”


Comments

EU commissioner urges green future for plastics

David Eldridge

Published: September 25, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Brown signs California's plastic bag ban into law

September 30, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made it official today: plastic bags are banned across the entire state of California.    More

Image

Toyoda Gosei pleads guilty, agrees to $26 million fine for price fixing

September 30, 2014 11:27 am ET

Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $26 million fine for its alleged role in an international conspiracy to rig bids and fix ...    More

Image

Audacious vandal stuns Taipei Plas

September 29, 2014 4:59 pm ET

Melodrama erupted at the traditionally tranquil Taipei Plas trade show on Sept. 28 when a mysterious intruder flung red paint at the BaumŘller...    More

Image

Germans, Chinese question Plastindia move to Gujarat

September 29, 2014 4:39 pm ET

Two major international partners of the Plastindia trade show have raised serious concerns about the show organizer's decision to move it to another...    More

Image

EEOC suing movable wall maker Hufcor

September 29, 2014 3:09 pm ET

Movable wall and partition maker Hufcor Inc. is facing a federal lawsuit from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after violating federal...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Woodĺs economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events