Multinational businesses call for acceleration of plastic circular economy

Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition

An organisation representing multinational businesses that operate in the Netherlands has called on the European Union to speed up the implementation of the plastic circular economy.

In response, the EU has said it will look at ways to ensure recycled plastic prices are competitive with virgin material.


The Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC) is made up of eight members led by the chief executives of eight firms that have operations in the Netherlands. Members are AkzoNobel, DSM, FrieslandCampina, Heineken, KLM, Philips, Shell and Unilever.

It has produced a report Transition Time! A circular economy for plastics that makes recommendations on how to incentivise measures to speed-up the plastic circular economy.

This includes improving co-operation between governments, knowledge institutions, societal organisations and the business sector. Members also share their experiences and innovations in the report to inspire other companies to invest in the circular economy.

DSGC chair Jan Peter Balkenende said: “A transition of this magnitude requires shared values and a willingness of various partners to create a responsible society that views plastic as a resource, and not as waste, which is far too often the case right now.”

The report was presented to European Commission executive vice-president for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans who added: “This publication is urgently needed: we want to significantly reduce the amount of plastics needed and reduce the amount of of plastics that are incinerated in the EU.

“We must also bridge the difference between virgin plastics and recycled plastics. We will address these matters by revising various guidelines.”

Unilever Benelux general manager Annemarieke de Haan added: “When you recycle, the quality usually decreases. Innovation is needed to get more plastics of better quality but the financial incentives for this are lacking. It is very strange that recycled plastic is currently more expensive than new.”

The report can be viewed here.

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