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Launch of the European Plastics Pact

Launch of the European Plastics Pact
by Annis Mapleston at 15:20 in Circular Economy, Environmental, Packaging

​Last week, the first regional Plastics Pact was launched in Europe. Governments and businesses from across the European Economic Area (EEA) have joined together to commit to reducing plastic waste and move towards creating a circular economy for plastics.

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Signatories of the European Plastics Pact commit to a number of shared goals, including:

  • Designing all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products to be reusable where possible, and in all cases to be recyclable by 2025;
  • Shifting towards a more responsible use of plastic packaging and single-use plastic products, aiming for a reduction in virgin plastic products and packaging of at least 20% by 2025;
  • Raising the collection, sorting and recycling capacity in the involved countries of all plastics used in packaging and single use products by at last 25 percentage points by 2025;
  • Boosting recycled plastics use in new products and packaging as much as possible by 2025.

Organisations can sign the pact as either a full participant (if they play an active role in the plastics value chain and are fully committed to a circular plastics economy), or as a supporting organisation (for those who play no direct role but are able to support the Pact's implementation - for example, trade associations, technology providers and packaging recovery organisations). All EEA countries within Europe are able to sign the Pact, including the UK.

Current signatories include:
  • Governments or government ministries on behalf of their entire government (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden).
  • NGOs (e.g. Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Plastic Planet Austria).
  • Businesses (e.g. Unilever, Coop Danmark, Veolia, Group Carrefour).
  • PROs (e.g. Citeo, Renewi plc).

Other Plastics Pacts exist around the world, as part of the global Plastics Pact network​. While membership of a Plastics Pact is of course voluntary, it shows a commitment to reducing plastic waste and provides access to a network of other organisations pursuing a similar aim. Surely something worth thinking about...

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