Brussels — Yesterday, FEAD President Jean-Marc Boursier delivered a speech at the European Commission „Reinventing Plastics, Closing the Circle“ Conference. The conference was very high level and three EU Commissioners made presentations (Frans Timmermans, Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Vella). The FEAD President stressed that it requires the right framework conditions along with economic instruments to materialise a vision for plastics in the circular economy.
The key arguments of Jean-Marc Boursier were as followed:
- We need to focus more on the very first step in the value chain and intensify our cooperation with designers and manufacturers to ensure that products are designed to prevent waste and to be easily reused, dismantled and recycled. 80 percent of the environmental impact of products is determined at their design stage. On top of Eco Design, we also need to increase the use of recyclates in new products, and to move to real “Circular Design”. For instance, we could implement economic instruments to incentivize Circular Design with bonus and malus systems within Extended Producer Responsibility schemes.
- We need to introduce harmonized eco-labelling rules to incorporate indications of recycled content and recyclability. As an EU consumer, I want to know if the packaging and products I have in front of me is recyclable or not, or even better if it contains recycled materials.
- Legislation promoting minimal recycled plastic content in certain packaging should also be introduced. California did so by imposing a minimum of 25 percent post-consumer recycled content. I do not see any reason why at EU level such measures could not be adopted.
- Green public procurement must be intensified and the use of recycled content actively promoted in various public tenders, at EU, Member state, or local authority levels.
- Fiscal incentives to boost demand could also be considered, like lower VAT rates on recycled polymers or a CO2 carbon tax.
The full speech of Jean-Marc Boursier can be found under linkedin.com.
Source: European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services