The European Plastics Pact is the first regional Pact to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network.
Launched in Brussels, the Pact brings together governments and businesses within the European Economic Area (EEA) to work towards a common vision for a circular economy for plastic, in which plastics never become waste or pollution.
The Pact has been initiated by the French Ministry of the Ecological and Solidary Transition, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food, in consultation with more than 80 organisations from across Europe, and with the support of WRAP.
The launch of the first regional Plastics Pact is testament to the strength and reputation of the global network of national Pacts which are paving the way in transforming the way we make, use and dispose of plastic
Together, the 81 members of the European Plastics Pact have committed to a set of ambitious 2025 targets. They include:
- Make all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products reusable where possible, and in all cases recyclable
- Reduce the need for virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20%
- Increase the collection, sorting and recycling capacity of all plastics used in packaging and single-use products in participating countries by at least 25 percentage points
- Boost the use of recycled plastics as much as possible, with an average of at least 30% recycled plastics across single-use plastic products and packaging
- As the first regional Pact in the network, the European Plastics Pact focuses on opportunities to drive ambitious action across country borders.
Its members will:
- cooperate across the value chain on a European scale to boost the development of smarter techniques and approaches
- harmonise guidelines, standards, and national supporting frameworks
- connect to share best practices and lessons learned across Europe.
Members of the European Plastics Pact include 15 governments and 66 companies. Progress will be monitored and reported each year by all signatories with a Secretariat keeping track of the results.
The first working groups will start to set up for monitoring and reporting. They will also discuss reduce and reuse models, how to design for a circular plastics economy, waste shipment, food contact applications, and actions to steer the supply chain.
The European Plastics Pact joins the UK, France, Chile, The Netherlands, South Africa and Portugal as part of the global Plastics Pact network, a unique platform to exchange learnings and best practices across countries and regions to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic.
Sander Defruyt, New Plastics Economy Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “The European Plastics Pact is a major step towards creating a circular economy for plastic, and the first supranational initiative to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global network of Plastics Pacts.
“We applaud the leadership shown by the Dutch, French, and Danish governments to develop this ambitious plan, joining forces with governments and businesses across Europe to eliminate the plastics we don’t need and innovate, so the plastics we do need can be circulated in the economy and kept out of the environment.”
Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO, said: “We are proud to have supported the development of this exciting new agreement. The launch of the first regional Plastics Pact is testament to the strength and reputation of the global network of national Pacts which are paving the way in transforming the way we make, use and dispose of plastic.”
European Plastics Converters “will not sign” European Plastic Pact
European Plastics Converters(EuPC), says as the trade association of plastics converters in Europe it would be “difficult “to be part of the new Pact for “many reasons”.
Alexandre Dangis, EuPC Managing Director states: “Company (many SMEs) and association members are already very much engaged in the European Commission’s Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA) and the industry’s voluntary commitments, as well as the new national plastic pacts and legislative obligations coming from the SUP Directive and revised waste regulation.
“At the same time, EuPC understands the urgency of dealing with plastic waste and marine litter but quick fixes cannot give long-term solutions. Reducing plastic single-use items or increasing recycling targets cannot resolve the issues such as mismanagement of waste or bad behaviours.
EuPC understands the urgency of dealing with plastic waste and marine litter but quick fixes cannot give long-term solutions
“Pioneering countries are countries that have abandoned landfilling plastics waste that can be recycled and this is not the case for certain signatories of this new Pact.
“A direct link with Industry Ministries to assess the impacts on the competitiveness of the plastics industry in Europe threatening many jobs is missing but maybe the Circular Plastics Alliance will help to create this assessment.”
With this in mind, EuPC says has decided to not sign the European Plastic Pact.
It says it will keep “monitoring its evolution” to come to ensure that there is no duplication of efforts, wishing “real industrial pioneers to lead the way in a constructive manner for Europe”.