10 November 2010 - Plastics industry takes major event to London, highlighting need for improved recycling and recovery

First "IdentiPlast on tour” declared a success

The European plastics industry today closed its first IdentiPlast on tour: a major event focusing on recycling and recovery of plastics waste. The event, normally held in Brussels, was this year hosted in London, highlighting the disparity in plastics recycling and recovery rates across the EU.

According to figures from PlasticsEurope, the industry association representing Europe’s plastics manufacturers and organisers of IdentiPlast, an average of 54% of post-consumer plastics waste was recovered in the EU as a whole in 2009 – up 2.7 percentage point on the previous year’s figures. However, this picture hides vast differences in recycling and recovery performance between the EU’s 27 Members States. Switzerland, Germany and Denmark lead the way with nearly 100% recovery, while the nine top performing countries average more than 80%. The UK, by contrast, languishes in 21st place, with only 26% recovery of post-consumer plastics waste.

More than 160 specialists, industry leaders, academics and European policymakers attended IdentiPlast London to share and discuss the latest advances and cutting-edge technologies on identification and sorting of plastics waste.

The event included various opportunities for IdentiPlast participants to attend presentations and discussions that highlighted industry’s best practices such as how to divert plastics waste from landfills to capture and maximise its value. Panelists including Karolina Fras, Deputy Head of Unit for Sustainable Production and Consumption, DG Environment, European Commission; Claudia Kuss-Tenzer, European Environmental Bureau; Paul Augustowski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Basell Orlen Polyolefins, Chris Dow, Managing Director Closed Loop recycling and Joachim Quoden, Secretary General, PRO EUROPE, also discussed opportunities and best routes to help realise the goal of a zero-landfill Europe.

Jan-Erik Johansson, Resource Efficiency Programme Director, PlasticsEurope commented, "I am delighted that IdentiPlast London has achieved its mission, which was to bring together leading experts to share best practices and learn about recent innovations in recycling and recovery. We are looking forward to seeing participants apply some of the recycling and recovery ideas introduced over the past few days and take further steps to bringing Europe closer to zero landfill.”

Word document of Press release