BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Plastics recyclers in Europe are forming a new trade association that may lobby for controversial issues like a tax on virgin plastic resins. The group, which has not been named, plans to meet for the first time Dec. 3 in Brussels, Belgium. It will lobby the European Commission, which is investigating ways to improve the competitiveness of the recycling industry.
``Most of the problems they're finding are in plastics recycling,'' said Alexandre Dangis, director of the European Plastic Converters trade group, or EuPC.
Some possible actions that the EC may consider, and that the new group may support, include taxes on virgin materials, research programs for plastics recycling, and legislative standards for recycled products.
The group also may push to harmonize recycling legislation throughout Europe.
Currently, laws vary widely between, for example, Germany, which has an extensive packaging recycling system, and France, which depends much more heavily on waste-to-energy incineration.
``There are about 1,000 plastics recyclers in Europe. Twenty are big, and the rest are very small,'' Dangis said.
EuPC is helping to organize the recyclers' group, but Dangis expects the two associations to be separate. For example, the two sides probably would part company on the virgin materials tax issue.
``That's why they need their own platform and their own name,'' Dangis said. ``They want to be close to the converters, very close, and they want to remain friends with the raw material suppliers. But they want their own committees and opinions.''