The Plastics Strategy: an opportunity

26 Jan 2017

VinylPlus welcomes the Roadmap for a Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy published today by the European Commission. The roadmap should pave the way towards a good Strategy, which will allow for more investment and innovation to reach a truly circular economy.

In its roadmap, the Commission emphasises the need to improve cooperation across the entire plastics value chain and with all stakeholders to support the circular economy and to allow for innovation. We can only encourage this approach. The VinylPlus programme itself is built on this same partnership model which has been successful in establishing an extensive Europe-wide network and recycling more than 3 million tonnes of PVC since 2000.

The Commission’s Roadmap also stresses the need for quality recycled plastics as well as a clear approach to deal with legacy substances in those materials. Recycling of plastic waste is indeed particularly challenging because of the diversity of plastics and additives. “This is why the European PVC industry encourages traceability requirements to track components of the materials being recycled. It ensures the safest and best quality recycling with appropriate handling precautions and information to downstream users”, said Brigitte Dero, General Manager of VinylPlus and ECVM.

VinylPlus calls for the use of certification schemes to ensure the quality and safety of recycled materials and processes. This would stimulate demand for secondary raw materials while preserving a high level of environment and health protection and would help to avoid unnecessary disposal and the loss of valuable materials like PVC from a circular economy.

Finally, we are glad to see that the Commission wants its Plastics Strategy to aim at reducing the greenhouse gases associated with plastics life-cycle. VinylPlus is advocating for the integration of a low-carbon rationale at all stages of the life cycle and a focus on responsible sourcing of raw materials with a low carbon footprint.

“The Plastics Strategy is a significant opportunity for European leaders to confirm and reinforce more than 15 years of work from the industry to develop an effective scheme for PVC recycling. It is also an immediate opportunity to stimulate jobs, innovation and investment, notably in the recycling sector”, said Brigitte Dero.

About VinylPlus
VinylPlus is the voluntary sustainable development programme of the European PVC industry. The programme has proven to be a frontrunner on the circular economy by ensuring continuous progress in the recycling of PVC.

Sylvie Famelart, Communications
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