European Parliament urges tougher rules for plastics recycling

14 January 2014 17:35  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Parliament on Tuesday urged tougher rules for plastics recycling, including binding recycling targets and bans on the most hazardous plastics.

In a resolution, the parliament said that plastic wastes were damaging the environment because of weak enforcement of EU legislation and the lack of specific EU laws on the materials.

Fully enforcing EU legislation on waste could save €72bn/year boost the sales of EU waste management and recycling firms by €42bn/year and create over 400,000 jobs by 2020, the parliament said. Only 25% of plastic wastes are currently recycled, it added. 

The parliament proposed that specific binding targets for collecting and sorting up to 80% of waste should be included in EU legislation.

It urged mandatory criteria for recycling, and harmonised criteria for collecting and sorting waste. 

The body also called on the European Commission to make proposals by 2014 to phase out the landfilling of recyclable and recoverable waste by 2020 and discourage the incineration of this waste.

Parliamentarians stated that plastic waste should not be used for energy recovery “unless all other possibilities have been exhausted.”

Most dangerous plastics should be withdrawn from the market, and the use of single-use plastic bags should be phased out wherever possible, they added.

In addition, they called for “bolder steps” to tackle illegal exports and dumping of plastic waste.

VKU, a German trade group that represents firms working in municipal waste, energy and water sectors, welcomed the parliament’s resolution.

Common EU recycling rules, and their enforcement, could “make a big contribution” towards the protection of natural resources in Europe, said VKU general manager Hans-Joachim Reck.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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