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Coalition urges Council to hit recycling targets

November 7, 2018

The RECYCLEDCONTENT.EU coalition has announced the release of a signed joint statement calling for the European Council to support binding recycled content targets for beverage bottles.

The coalition states that it is urging the Council to support the binding target of at least 35 percent recycled plastic in beverage bottles by 2025.

This target was voted by the European Parliament on 24 October 2018 and “is instrumental in the achievement of the objects of the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive” as well as fuelling the transition to a circular economy.

The 35 percent target is described by the coalition as “a vital, and absolutely achievable, step towards circularity”.

Currently, of the 25.8 million tonnes of plastic waste produced in Europe each year, less than 30 percent is collected for recycling. In addition, demand for recycled plastics “accounts for only around 6 percent of plastics demand in Europe”.

The coalition describes this inefficient waste management as “leaving Europe in a vulnerable position”, particularly when it comes to recyclers of PET drinking bottles, “whose recycling capacity exceeds the amount of waste currently processed.”

By setting a mandatory recycling rate for these bottles, says the coalition, “positive knock-on effects” will be seen immediately.

The binding content target of 35 percent will have the following results:

  • Boosting the offer of recyclable plastics and the demand of recyclable plastics
  • Providing operators with the necessary certainty they need to make significant investments in recycling technologies. The coalition says that up to €10 billion ($11.4 billion) worth of investments will be needed in the waste management and recycling sector to innovate and expand the separate collection, sorting and recycling capacity for all plastics at EU level.
  • To take advantage of China’s import restrictions on plastic waste by making Europe the leader in fighting marine litter from SUP thanks to measures closing the entire plastics loop, namely: prevention, proper management, recycling and use of recycled content in plastic beverage bottles.

Until now, the coalition states, no measures have been taken at the EU level to pull the demand for recycled materials and complete the second half of the cycle in a more circular economy.

The coalition concludes by saying that the proposal “is a monumental change and is vital in the making of a more circular EU legislation”.




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