Plastics Recycling Show Europe 2019 (PRSE 2019) opened in Amsterdam this morning where European Commissioner Kestutis Sadauskas gave his full support to efforts carried out in making plastics circular.
“For someone who works on the policy side, on papers and in an abstract environment, events like this give a glimpse of reality,” said Sadauskas, director circular economy and green growth DG environment at the European Commission, during his keynote speech.
Plastic, he went on to say, is a “wonderful material, without which there would not be a civilisation 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,” the European official said in his opening address.
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 MEPs.
The legislation bans a number of single-use items such as straws and cotton-buds 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,” the Commissioner concluded.