EU to investigate improving plastic recycling through new green paper


The European Union has published a green paper that looks at how to make plastics more sustainable during their lifecycle.

As part of the consultative exercise, the EU will look at whether policy such as specific plastics recycling targets, landfill bans, landfill taxes and pay-as-you-throw schemes should be launched across Europe as well as looking at how existing legislation can be adapted to promote reuse, recycling and recovery of plastics over landfill.


The green paper also questions whether it might be possible to improve the modular and chemical design of plastic to improve recyclability.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “Managing plastic waste is a major challenge in terms of environmental protection, but it’s also a huge opportunity for resource efficiency.

“In a circular economy where high recycling rates offer solutions to material scarcity, I believe plastic has a future. I invite all stakeholders to participate in this process of reflection on how to make plastic part of the solution rather than the problem.”

The consultation lasts until June 2013. It will then feed into further policy action in 2014 as part of a broader waste policy review.