Last week at K 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany, European trade association PlasticsEurope (Brussels, Belgium) announced the formation of a new Plastics Packaging Circular Economy Group. The new venture will be working with the value chain to maximize the fullest potential of plastics in delivering superior resource efficiency gains within the Circular Economy.
"If managed the right way, I am convinced the Circular Economy, this massive innovation capability in Europe, will contribute to overcoming some of the environmental challenges we are facing," said Patrick Thomas, President of PlasticsEurope and CEO of Covestro. "Plastics is already contributing to resource efficiency in the EU and we are still wasting resources that could have a second life. Every tonne of plastics that goes into landfill is utterly ridiculous.”
"If reuse and recycling is not the sustainable choice, energy recovery is preferable. We have to make sure you don't lose any plastic pellets during production, we want zero plastics as marine litter and zero plastics to landfill."
Plastics packaging adds significant value to contain, protect and preserve a wide range of products, yet more can be done. PlasticsEurope believes that it is important to further strengthen the engagement with all players within the supply chain and operate in a more holistic way. This will drive innovation that further increases the resource efficiency of plastics and ensure their recovery at the end of their useful life. At the same time, it should prevent the leakage of any waste into the environment.
“Life cycle thinking is at the heart of our actions. The Circular Economy proposals should also aim to bring environmental benefits over the product’s full life cycle; it is only through the lens of resource efficiency that new approaches and holistic packaging solutions will be developed,” said Karl-H. Foerster, Executive Director, PlasticsEurope.
The new plastics packaging group is already collaborating with the European Plastics Converters and Plastics Recyclers Associations.
“We increased our resources on packaging activities with the creation of a new Plastics Packaging Group to contribute towards a resource efficient circular economy. Our industry is committed to a sustainable future within a low-carbon economy and we will continue to increase our engagement with the plastics value-chain towards this common goal”, Mr Foerster concluded.