More than 100 public and private partners covering the entire plastics value chain signed the declaration of the Circular Plastics Alliance in Brussels to promote voluntary actions to develop a “well-functioning [European Union] market in recycled plastics.”
The declaration lays out details of how the industry will fulfill the European Plastic Strategy target of using 10 million metric tons per year of recycled plastic in everyday products by 2025.
Adopted following a high-level meeting in Brussels on Sept. 20, the declaration also calls for a shift to zero plastic waste in nature and zero landfilling.
The manifesto also specifies concrete actions to reach the target, including improving the design of plastic products to make them more recyclable and integrating more recycled plastics.
As part of this, the signers committed to deliver an overview of the current status of the production of recycled plastics in the EU and draw up a map for necessary investments in recycling facilities by the end of the year.
The declaration also calls for identifying “untapped potential” for more plastic waste collection, sorting and recycling across the EU, as well as the investment gaps.
In that context, the signatories committed to deliver, by mid-2020, a state-of-play on collected and sorted plastic waste in the EU, and by 2021 to highlight the necessary investments to be made in collection and sorting facilities in each member state.
Another key area touched on by the declaration is the building of a research and development agenda by March 2020, for circular plastics within the EU.
The alliance also committed to setting up a “harmonized EU value chain voluntary system” to monitor volumes of recycled plastics used in European products.
The system, it added, will be “transparent, trusted and ensure traceability of the data.”
“I welcome the industry's commitments to rethink the way we produce and use plastics. By efficiently recycling plastics, we will clean up the planet and fight climate change, by substituting fossil fuels with plastic waste in the production cycle,” said First Vice President Frans Timmermans, in comments ahead of the adoption.
The declaration of the Alliance will remain open for signatures on the European Commission's website for more signatories to join over time, in particular public authorities from all across Europe.
The European Commission announced the launch of the Circular Plastics Alliance in December 2018.
The launch of the alliance followed the preliminary assessment of industry voluntary pledges for more recycled plastics, which showed that pledges from suppliers of recycled plastics were sufficient to reach and even exceed the EU target of 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics used in Europe by 2025.
However, pledges received from users of recycled plastics, such as plastics converters and manufacturers, were not sufficient, prompting an action to bridge the gap between the supply and demand.
The Circular Plastics Alliance held its first meeting in February 2019 at the European Industry Days, where the participants agreed to work together along the plastics value chains to reach the Plastics Strategy targets by 2025.