Following the European Parliament’s plenary session on September 13, FEAD, the European Federation representing the European waste management industry, welcomes the positive vote on the draft own-initiative report on a European strategy for plastics in a circular economy by rapporteur MEP Mark Demesmaeker.
A strong demand for recycled plastics will only result from concrete binding actions accompanied by economic measures to bridge the price gap detrimental to plastics from recyclates. FEAD members welcome the report calling for mandatory rules on recycled content which will stimulate the demand for secondary materials and therefore help drive the necessary investment in collection, sorting and recycling. From this perspective, the association supports the idea of a reduced VAT for products with recycled content, which will allow recycled plastics to compete with virgin polymers.
Joined efforts needed
Indeed, up to Euro 10 billion worth of investments will be needed in our sector to innovate and expand the separate collection, sorting and recycling capacity, for all plastics, at EU level. Our industry is prepared to make the necessary investments if there are legislative measures ensuring a significant uptake of plastic recyclates; which is becoming even more necessary by the minute in view of the Chinese ban on imports of certain waste streams. Transforming the vision of a new plastics economy into reality will require joined efforts throughout the entire plastics value chain.
Mid-October, MEPs will vote on the European Parliament’s draft report issued on 9th July, which recommends making it mandatory to produce beverage containers with at least 25 per cent of recycled plastics by 2025 (report of ENVI Committee Rapporteur, MEP Frédérique RIES, aims to amend the proposal for a Directive […] on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment).
FEAD hopes that the positive vote of September 13 on the principle of recycled content will result in an equally favourable vote in October when the time comes for MEPs to decide if they want mandatory recycled content in plastic bottles to be part of their legacy. This is the European Parliament’s last opportunity to act before the end of their mandate: if not now, the EU will lose at least three years.