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PET value chain urges EU policymakers to support circularity

PET value chain urges EU policymakers to support circularity
The EU’s Single-Use Plastics Directive Proposal mandates a reduction in the consumption of PET trays, a circular packaging product with a high amount of recycled content.

In a recent statement by PET Sheet Europe, Petcore Europe and Plastics Recyclers Europe, the groups noted: “The EU Single-Use Plastics Directive Proposal is currently under the assessment of the European Parliament. The proposal foresees the consumption reduction of PET trays—a circular packaging product with a high amount of recycled content. This goes entirely against the development of the last years—PET sheet manufacturers have been increasing the amount of recyclates in their products steadily.”

Trays made out of PET sheet are ideal for numerous applications: Fresh food and dairy, blister packs and medical packaging. Today, PET sheet can be considered a great performer in terms of recyclability and actual recycling, with a growing trend in collection in specific recycling activities. 

The members of PET Sheet Europe, an EuPC sector group representing European PET sheet manufacturers, already use an average of 45% of recycled material, a figure that shows the industry’s sustainability. Nonetheless, more work can and must be done, said the group’s commentary. Separate collection of trays and other PET sheet–based products is currently hampered by non-binding targets. Accordingly, increasing the collection rate is of utmost importance. If trays are properly designed, collected and sorted, they are circular.

Through the plastics industry’s voluntary commitments signed by, among others, Petcore Europe, EuPC and Plastics Recyclers Europe, the entire industry is committed to increasing its role in the circular economy. PET Sheet Europe, therefore, made a commitment to the European Commission that by 2025 the average recycled content of its products will be raised to 70%.

Petcore Europe, the association representing the entire value chain of PET in Europe, and Plastics Recyclers Europe support PET Sheet Europe and urge European policymakers to enforce separate collection and recycling of PET trays followed by specific targets instead of consumption reduction, a measurement that would sabotage the aforementioned commitment and circularity initiatives.

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