Amsterdam — A leader of the European Commission is giving his support to efforts made by the plastics industry to increase recycling.
At the Plastics Recycling Show Europe 2019 in Amsterdam, European Commissioner Kestutis Sadauskas gave his full support to efforts carried out in making a circular economy with plastics.
"For someone who works on the policy side, on papers and in an abstract environment, events like this give a glimpse of reality," Sadauskas, DG ENV, director circular economy and green growth environment at the EC, said during his keynote speech at the event. PRSE is sponsored by Plastics News Europe, a sister publication of Plastics News.
Plastic, he went on to say, is a "wonderful material, without which there would not be a civilization as we have today. We would not have the electronics that we have today and would not have stood on the moon, had it not been for plastics."
"The material has been unappreciated the most, and we feel that have to change something. … We think that as we go circular globally, plastic has to become a symbol of that circularity," he said.
But this has proven to be a very difficult task as plastics are used in different compositions, shapes, functions and applications.
As the EC set itself the task of improving the sustainability of plastics, Europe's plastics strategy came about.
The strategy addresses several issues, such as waste collection, design and production processes while setting long-term targets for plastics recycling in order offer a direction for the industry.
Other measures include the single-use plastics directive, recently approved by members of the European Parliament.
The legislation bans a number of single-use items such as straws and cotton swabs while supporting the increased use of recycled content and recycling initiatives across the value chain.
"This is just the beginning. We want to send the message to the market that demand for recycled plastics should increase. This is a message to investors that they are investing in a growing market and the Commission will do anything it takes to make sure that investors in circular solutions are rewarded for their efforts," Sadauskas said.