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More than 100 signatories commit to using recycled plastic in new products in EU

More than 100 organisations have signed a declaration to commit to using 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic in new products by 2025 in the European Union (EU).

The declaration, under the Circular Plastics Alliance, promotes voluntary actions for a prioritising recycled plastics in the EU market.

The declaration lays out how the alliance will reach the 10 million-tonne target of recycled plastic used to make new products every year in Europe, by 2025.

This target was set by the European Commission in its 2018 Plastics Strategy, as part of its efforts to boost plastics recycling in Europe.

European Commission first vice-president, Frans Timmermans, who responsible for sustainable development, said the commitment by the industry is a welcome move to rethinking the way plastic is produced and used.

“By efficiently recycling plastics, we will clean up the planet and fight climate change, by substituting fossil fuels with plastic waste in the production cycle.”

European Commission commissioner, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, said this is an opportunity to make the industry a world leader in recycled plastics.

“We should fully seize it to protect the environment, to create new jobs in this sector and remain competitive,” Bieńkowska said.

The declaration, signed by small and medium businesses, large corporations, business associations, standardisers, research organisations, and local and national authorities, endorses target and calls for a shift to zero plastic waste in nature and zero landfilling.

It lays out concrete actions to reach the target, including:

  •       Improving the design of plastic products to make them more recyclable and integrate more recycled plastics;
  • Identifying untapped potential for more plastic waste collection, sorting and recycling across the EU, as well as the investment gaps;
  • Building a research and development agenda for circular plastics; and
  • Establishing a transparent and reliable monitoring system to track all flows of plastic waste in the EU.

The declaration of the Alliance will remain open for more signatories to join over time, in particular public authorities from across Europe.

In Australia, September also marked the month that nine South Australian councils committed to buying products made from recycled materials.

Council representatives signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on September 18, in which the councils are promoting reuse to reduce waste and drive down recycling costs.

The participating councils include Adelaide Hills Council, City of Burnside, City of Charles Sturt, Mount Barker District Council, Rural City of Murray Bridge, City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters, City of Onkaparinga, City of Port Adelaide Enfield, and City of Prospect.