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Press Release  – The Circular Plastics Alliance, a missed opportunity

Press Release-Recycling Plastics Alliance, Missed Opportunity

Brussels, September 20, 2019

At a high-level event held today, the Recycling Plastics Alliance (CPA) signed a voluntary statement to support the supply and demand of recycled plastics in the European market.

ECOS, the European Environment Agency (EEB), and the European Zero Waste (ZWE) finally decided not to sign the declaration. Unfortunately, the lack of ambition, transparency, and participation of NGOs in drafting the declaration—but they did acknowledge the need to increase efforts in general Strengthen the collection and recycling of plastics.

The CPA initiative was initiated by the European Commission in the context of the European Circular Economy Plastics Strategy. It aims to invite companies to participate in a commitment to reach 10 million tons of recyclable ingredients in products and packaging by 2025. The promised decline did not achieve the 10 million goal, and the CPA was created to fill this gap.

Considering that plastic production is expected to double by 2035, even if the 10 million tons target is achieved, Europe will still be highly dependent on virgin fossil plastics. This is inconsistent with the EU's decarbonization ambitions and the goal of achieving European climate neutrality. Political attention, R&D, and investment should first be used for prevention, non-toxic ecological design and reuse systems, rather than focusing on their end of life.

In addition, ECOS, EEB and ZWE are particularly concerned about completely ignoring the risks associated with the presence of toxic substances in plastic waste: it should be ensured that hazardous chemicals do not enter new products through recycled components. The problematic chemicals should be eliminated from the product design first.

In addition, the declaration emphasizes the investment in chemical recycling. This technology is still immature and has unresolved problems in terms of cost and environmental impact. It should not be regarded as a panacea for solving the plastic crisis.

“For industry, relevant stakeholders and environmental NGOs, the Recycling Plastics Alliance missed an opportunity to create a meaningful initiative to solve the plastic problem in the circular economy. Instead, the industry has developed an empty manifesto , Lack of ambition and commitment, cannot solve the problem of plastic pollution,” said Ioana Popescu, ECOS project manager.

ECOS, European Environment Agency (EEB) and European Zero Waste (ZWE)

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Media contact

Ioana Popescu, ECOS Project Manager

ioana.popescu@ecostandard.org +32 2 893 08 66

Kasia Koniecka, Communications Manager, ECOS

kasia.koniecka@ecostandard.org +32 2 893 09 76

Agnese Marcon, European Zero Waste Communications Coordinator

agnese@zerowasteeurope.eu +32 456 078 038

Jack Hunter, Senior Communications Officer, European Environment Agency jack.hunter@eeb.org +33 (0)751 051 805

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